The Saudi Fund for Development has signed a deal with Belize, a Central American country, to finance a new solar project worth $77 million.
The agreement is part of the fund’s effort to promote sustainable development in emerging economies and Small Island Developing States.
The Saudi loan, which will help build a 60-megawatt solar power plant, will reduce emissions by 60,000 tons annually from the energy sector. The project will also play a key role in boosting Belize’s socioeconomic growth.
Additionally, it will help improve the reliability of the country’s electrical network and enhance Belize’s efforts to mitigate climate change and transition to clean energy.
“The project to construct a solar energy plant in Belize will support the health and well-being of the local population and help provide direct and indirect job opportunities, which will contribute toward the socioeconomic growth of the country,” said Sultan Al-Marshad, CEO of SFD.
He added: “This project reflects the importance that SFD places on mitigating climate change.”
Aside from environmental benefits, the project will boost the local economy by producing direct and indirect employment opportunities and increasing Belize’s self-sufficiency and competitive advantage.
The initiative also contributes to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Established in 1975, SFD has implemented over 700 development projects and programs in 90 countries.
“The solar project is timely, as Belize finds it necessary to expand its energy output because of a growing economy,” said Belizean Prime Minister John Briceno.
He added: “This brings numerous benefits to Belize, including clean energy, cost savings, energy independence, environmental sustainability, job creation and improved access to electricity to rural communities.”
Regarding supporting small island developing countries, SFD’s CEO also met Dickon Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada, on Wednesday.
“Grenada is working with the Saudi Fund for Development to sign an agreement to support major infrastructure projects that will address Grenada’s ability to address and mitigate the effects of climate change in some key urban and rural tourist areas, including coastlines and beaches,” Mitchell said.
They discussed future development projects and ways to improve and achieve sustainable development goals. (https://www.arabnews.com/node/2350446/business-economy)