Total Projects: 79
Project Spending: $66,683
At the crossroads of Latin America and the Caribbean, Belize is considered a development success story. Home to a diverse, heterogeneous, multilingual citizenry, its small population of 360,000 is mainly employed in agriculture. Belize has met UNDP goals of reducing child mortality rates and is making strides in maternal health and literacy. Despite these successes, one third of the population still lives in poverty. The marginalization of the indigenous Maya and the lack of recognition they receive from governing authorities are growing issues as is the emerging regional divide between the more developed north and less developed south of the country. Cash crops like sugar have led to greater economic prosperity but leave rural villagers vulnerable to fluctuations in the market and with less land to sustainably grow their own food for subsistence. Geopolitical tension with neighboring Guatemala has been a persistent theme although the conflict is arbitrated by multilateral bodies. Nevertheless, given the largely stable nature of the Belizean government, development actors hope to use the country’s model to enhance regional security and stability.