United Nations Development Programme in Belize at 35

Aug 24, 2017

On the 25th August 2017, UNDP celebrates 35 years of partnership, working alongside the Government and People of Belize. The UNDP Belize CO officially opened its doors as a country programme in Belize in 1982. UNDP’s presence in country was formalized with the signing of a Basic Standard Agreement with the Government of Belize. Although its initial presence was small, a desk within the Ministry of Economic Development, the impact of its work resonated across the development sectors of the country. 

UNDP’s work in the early years informed the organization’s priority areas of programming in Belize, positioning the organization as a valued partner in natural resource management and human development. UNDP’s presence in Belize also served as a gateway for the entry of other UN Agencies wishing to support the country’s development agenda. In 1990, UNDP organized itself as a Country Office providing capacity building support to key natural resources management institutions; advancing national efforts aimed at improving self-reliance and local integration for Central American refugees; expanding coverage of water and sanitation services to rural and peri urban regions of the country; expanded health services through pilots in rural areas; and supporting local empowerment of leaders within rural communities.

As a sustainable development pathway of the country became more clearly defined, the UNDP Country Office grew and structured itself to effectively support the country’s long term development vision. A vision of “a country of peace and tranquility, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life”. Since the time of its establishment in country, UNDP has played a transformational role in Belize as the organization partnered with Belize to empower women, to protect the country’s rich natural heritage, to enable effective governance which includes supporting a national anti-corruption agenda, support to the national HIV/ TB response, and to integrate emerging issues such as climate change within the country’s development agenda. UNDP’s work in Belize cumulatively supports the realization of the country’s sustainable development goals; the country’s progression towards the creation of a resilient state, a state of reduce inequalities and exclusion.

As UNDP Belize looks into the future, it anchors its work on 2030 Goals for Sustainable Development. A Multi-Country Development Framework signed in 2017 with Governments of the English and Dutch -speaking Caribbean, provides a strategic framework for the organization’s continued work in poverty alleviation, democratic governance and citizen security, climate change and disaster risk management, responsible use of land and marine resources, and reduced inequalities. During the new 2017- 2021 cooperation period, UNDP has committed some USD16.5 M in programmatic resources supporting the above stated priorities.


"UNDP is very proud of its cooperation with Belize and the positive results this has brought for the human development if its citizens for more than three decades. We are committed to intensify our support as Belize implements the 17 sustainable development goals adopted  by United Nations  and its national growth and sustainable development strategy."

Christian Salazar Volkmann

Resident Representative UNDP Belize

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