Belize is the 36th most poverty-stricken country as of 2020. Poverty affects about 42% of Belize’s general population and 58% of children under 18 are multi-dimensionally poor. In 2020, the gross national income per capita in Belize was $3,970, down from $4,700 in 2019. Despite the statistics, there are many organizations and charities operating in Belize to decrease the country’s poverty rate.
Belize Food For The Poor and A Hand to the Needy
Belize Food For The Poor (FFTP) is one of the charities operating in Belize. It began work in 1986 hoping to address poverty in Belize. Since then, one of its main focuses has been on the country’s school feeding program. In Belize, 19% of children experience stunted growth due to malnutrition according to UNICEF. Belize Food For The Poor partners with Belize organization, A Hand to the Needy, to provide help with basic necessities to more than 2,500 families in 44 schools. In 2020, Belize Food For The Poor targeted the COVID-19 crisis by sending 10 trailer loads of food and hygiene products to Belize for those affected by the pandemic. The organization sent 38 trailer loads of essential items ranging from clothing and paper products to food items and household goods to Belize in 2020.
Pack for a Purpose – Belize
Pack for a Purpose is an international organization making efforts to educate individuals on how to supply under-developed countries with basic necessities. The organization works with travelers to supply essentials such as school and medical items to the travelers’ destinations. The supplies go to individuals facing poverty in Belize. Pack for a Purpose initiatives include bettering health care, education, child and animal welfare as well as socioeconomic development. The organization also works with destinations and resorts to bring items to local communities. One partner organization is the Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, which encourages guests to bring any donatable items along for the trip. In 2017, children from the Inspiration Center in Belize City made drawings that were auctioned off at an event to raise funds for the center. This became possible through Pack for a Purpose and its donations of craft and school supplies.
World Pediatric Project – Belize
Latin America’s health care systems are fragmented, making it difficult to ensure health equity for its citizens. Many children in Belize are not registered at birth, meaning that the children have little to no health care options. Because Belize has a population of fewer than 400,00 individuals, it does not have an income tax revenue large enough to fund many public hospitals. The World Pediatric Project of Belize recognizes this issue and works to improve children’s access to medical care. It has been providing Belizean children with care for more than 20 years and has provided 9,096 medical services to 3,274 children. The project has also trained more than 200 health workers in the country.
Belize has historically struggled with widespread poverty and lack of resources. However, the charities operating in Belize have been working closely with the nation to help those in poverty. Their efforts have helped thousands of Belize citizens and continue to do so.
– Katelyn Rogers
Photo: Wikipedia Commons