This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Saudi Minister of Tourism Visits Belize; $90M Loan is Signed

May 31, 2023

Saudi Minister of Tourism Visits Belize; $90M Loan is Signed

Saudi Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al Khateeb arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport on Tuesday where he was received on the tarmac by Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler.  The purpose of the visit included the signing of a loan agreement with the Saudi Fund for Development to build a tertiary hospital in Belmopan.  Belize is the eighty-eighth country to benefit from the S.F.D. funding since it was established in 1974.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“Saudi Arabia is starting to play not only in Africa and Asia and Europe but to also wanting to play a more important role in our part of the world, as you rightly said.  You’re a member of the G-20 and as such you have an important role here.”

Prime Minister John Briceño signed a ninety million dollar development loan with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism on Tuesday.  The signing of the agreement was part of a brief visit to Belize by Ahmed Al Khateeb, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Fund for Development.  The monies, as we’ve reported, will be used for the construction of a new hospital in Belmopan.

Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“Our objective is to attain universal health coverage.  There’s a need to ensure that these opportunities come to the Belizean people and building a new tertiary facility will only be able to provide that better service and access to healthcare for our Belizean people.  So definitely, I want to thank you on behalf of us at the ministry and the wider Belizean people.”

The new state-of-the-art medical facility will benefit more than two hundred thousand citizens with access to secondary and tertiary healthcare services.  Despite concerns being raised by doctors and nurses, as well as hospital staff with the K.H.M.H. Workers Union, the facility will double as a the university hospital for UB’s Faculty of Medicine.

Witnessing the signing of the agreement was Christopher Coye, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance.

Christopher Coye

Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Finance

“For us, I think, we start, we have to creep before we can walk and we are a young country as well, forty years old.  We have been able to develop formal relations, diplomatic relations with yourselves and we look forward to deepening that relationship.  We are very appreciative.”

Prior to the signing, a bilateral meeting was held during which Minister Al Khateeb informed Prime Minister Briceño that funding was also approved to the Government of Belize for a solar energy plant to be constructed.  This will help Belize in meetings its energy needs. The conversation segued into promoting Belize as an eco-tourism destination. Isani Cayetano for News Five.