Belize: Increased Access to Information and Services through Expanded Information Hubs on Migration
The United States Government – through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (PRM) – funded the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Belize’s expansion and operations for “Information Hubs on Migration” in three locations, strengthening the hubs in providing information and services to migrants for safe and orderly migration.
IOM signed Implementation Agreements to partner with The Child Development Foundation of Belmopan, Belize Red Cross in San Ignacio, and Humana People to People in Bella Vista to operate the Information Hubs on Migration in their communities to provide critical services and information. The awards were signed by Diana Locke, IOM Belize Head of Office, and Diana Shaw for Child Development Foundation, Lily Bowman for Belize Red Cross, and Susanne Jensen for Humana People to People. The CEO for Immigration, Dr. Gilroy Middleton, was also in attendance. These agreements enable the expansion the services in Belmopan’s Hub and launching hubs in Bella Vista and San Ignacio.
IOM Belize inaugurated its first Information Hub on Migration in 2018. The hubs will offer a single place of reference for information and services benefitting migrants, such as facilitating the process to obtain foreign national documents for migrants who meet the requirements to be regularized in Belize, as well as providing assistance in the application for various government services. Belizean returnees will receive support to obtain documents such as birth certificates and social security cards needed to reintegrate successfully into their communities.
The American people are proud to support these vital efforts through PRM and USAID funding. U.S. Embassy Belmopan’s Political and Economic Chief Andie De Arment highlighted the priority the Embassy places on “dignified and safe return of migrants,” noting that to date more than 100 migrants from Central America were repatriated and 60 Belizeans repatriated home through these programs.
The Integrated Responses on Migration program is a five-year regional program covering six Central American countries with a total budget of $33 million USD. The Western Hemisphere Migration Capacity-Building Program aims at strengthening governmental capacities to manage migration in a humane and sustainable manner, since 2010 in the region and 2017 in Belize. Under this Program were created the first hubs in the region and in Belize.