Outreach Capacity of Ministry of Human Development Enhanced

23 Mar 2012

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The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation (MHDSTPA) today received from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) an Isuzu pickup truck which will greatly enhance the Ministry’s outreach capacity. This is the second motor vehicle being provided to the Ministry under the Global Fund (GF) Round 9 Grant, being implemented by UNDP as principal recipient.

According to the Ministry’s Chief Executive Officer Judith Alpuche, experience has shown that mobility is a key factor to effective programme implementation in the Stann Creek District because the district is largely rural and its communities are very scattered. Furthermore, there is currently only one vehicle at the disposal of four social workers who provide a variety of services to vulnerable populations. Under the Global Fund project, the Ministry will be working on establishing a satellite office in Independence Village to provide services to families who live in the smaller and more remote communities. As the Ministry already faces implementation challenges with the current services it provides, it is anticipated that the execution of Global Fund project activities will increase such challenge due to limited mobility, therefore the motor vehicle comes at a perfect time, stated Ms. Alpuche.

“We normally move away from infrastructure” explained UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Dr. Francisco Roquette, explaining that UNDP’s core interest is the furthering of human rights through the various agencies it partners with and the activities they implement. He added that in addition to the Global Fund project activities mentioned by CEO Alpuche, UNDP hopes that the motor vehicle will serve as a tool for monitoring and evaluation of the conditional cash transfer programme, outreach in providing support to vulnerable populations, and in so doing, improve living conditions and enhance achievement of human rights and democracy.

The Ministry of Human Development (MHDSTPA) is implementing an objective under the GF Round 9 grant, which is related to the improvement of the quality of life of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) and children infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Belize and Stann Creek Districts. The project is enabling the Ministry’s efforts to expand the enrollment of Vulnerable Children into the Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme, known as BOOST Programme, through support for the recruitment of 3 District Coordinators (1 for Belize District and 2 for the Stann Creek District), and also with the vehicle handed over today. It is also assisting the Ministry to continue providing quality services to all vulnerable children in the Stann Creek District, and strengthening the Community Rehabilitation Department, for successful care and support to PLHIV.

This project also contributes to the broader fight against stigma and discrimination, both of which have an impact not only on access to health service but also on the human rights of PLHIV. UNDP is committed to continue supporting national human development efforts and strengthening of partnerships in providing better quality of life for all.