The Social Investment Fund has been under public scrutiny since the alleged corruption in the construction of the Dangriga Market has been made known. After investigations into the allegations made by contractor Kennard Smart and the complaints of financiers Herman Bailey and Emmy Ramirez, four persons were fired and the Executive Director of SIF resigned. But is there a wider investigation on going? PlusNews has received information that 8 representatives of the International Development Bank are currently in Belize conducting thorough assessments of IDB funded works, including the Santa Elena/ San Ignacio Bridge and Bypass… and have also been looking into the operations of the Social Investment Fund with regards to the Dangriga Market in what our source called “missing money”. Over the past five years, the IDB has loaned Belize 15 million US dollars for Social Investment projects alone.
Just last week, the IDB approved another loan to Belize’s Health Sector in the sum of 0.73 Million US dollars; over 1,4 million Belize dollars. The Project aims to rectify socio-economic problems affecting low-income populations that result from a limited access to affordable insurance coverage. According to the project description, the main objective is to fill the insurance gap in Belize which remains severely underinsured. It plans to introduce and expand the provision of micro insurance products to low-income segments where insurance coverage does not presently exist. How exactly that is going to look on the ground here in Belize is still unknown but the approval for the loan from the IDB came in only last week.