House of Lords written question – answered on 5th May 2009.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 30 March (WA 178), (a) what is the breakdown of the €11.8 million from the European Development Fund allocated to Belize for 2008—13, (b) what is the breakdown of the €48.2 million from the European Union that Belize is expected to receive between 2006 and 2010; and (c) what steps have been or are being taken to ensure that this funding is or was spent according to the purpose for which it was allocated.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Africa, Asia and the UN)

Belize's allocation from the European Development Fund (EDF) for 2008-13 includes €10 million for integrated rural development; €1.2 million for technical and material support for the national authorising officer of the Minister of Economic Development; with the remaining €0.6 million allocated to trade related assistance, improvement of public expenditure and financial accountability and technical training on issues such as tax reform.

The €48.2 million that Belize, as a sugar protocol country, receives is allocated on an annual basis as follows (2006: €3 million, 2007: €6 million, 2008: €9 million, 2009: €13.l million, 2010: €17.1 million). There is no separate breakdown available for amounts allocated according to activity. These allocations are decided on a yearly basis in annual action plans.

Overall, activities aim to improve the efficiency of sugar cane production, processing and economic diversification, with a strong emphasis on developing rural infrastructure in sugar producing areas e.g. roads and bridges. The European Commission (EC) disburses, manages and monitors this funding. Monitoring takes place through regular visits from the supervising EC delegation based in Jamaica and regular reviews.

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Kaihsu Tai
Posted on 1 Jun 2010 12:32 am (Report this annotation)

This website seems to explain the connection between Ashcroft and Belize: ‘Michael Ashcroft grew up in Belize after his father had been posted there by the Foreign Office. In 1982 he revisited the country and fell in love with its people and culture for a second time. Michael Ashcroft is now a major investor in Belize. He also funds educational charitable projects in Belize and neighbouring islands. Between 1998 – 2000 he was the Belizean Ambassador to the United Nations. He was nominated for his knighthood by the Belizean government.’