MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
anoldent; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fishing_boat_in_Belize.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Gerry Manacsa; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belize_farming_gm.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Roger W; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belize_-_Houses_in_Northside.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
dronepicr; License CC BY 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Caye_Caulker_Belize_drone_(20884019621).jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Poverty, hunger, poor health, and poor education are immense problems throughout the Central American country of Belize. Agriculture, oil production, and fishing are the main sectors in its economy. (1) As a result, the country’s forests and marine resources are under significant threat, mainly from high deforestation rates, improper solid waste management, rapid coastal development, increasing poverty, weak institutional and legal frameworks, and the recent discovery of sweet crude oil.
Little more than a third of Belizeans advance to secondary school. The lack of education coupled with the high number of children coming from single-parent families, nearly 25 percent, has contributed to poverty and high crime rates among youth in Belize. In addition to violence, adolescents have high rates of teen pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. While interventions like free contraception and sex education are available, many adolescents in Belize either do not access the services, face stigma or shame, or are not provided enough information. Fertility rates are higher than replacement at 2.3 children per mother but are trending downward from a high of 6 children per mother in the second half of the 20th century.
(1) Borgen project.