Improvements in the current and capital accounts facilitated an increase in the country's international reserves from US$5 million in 1984 to US$130 million in 1990. Belize's total external debt more than doubled from US$62.9 million in 1980 to US$158 million in 1990. Despite its relatively low debt burden, Belize formally requested consideration by the United States government for debt reduction and payment of interest into a local environmental fund under the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative.
Belize has been quite successful in attracting foreign aid. In 1983, two years after the nation became independent, the United States Agency for International Development opened an office in Belize. Between 1983 and 1989, Belize received US$94 million in development assistance. On a per capita basis, in 1991 Belize ranked among the top recipients of United States aid, a position that underscored the close relationship between the two countries. Britain remained Belize's other major benefactor. In 1991 Belize sought membership in the Inter-American Development Bank to assure the continued flow of concessional loans.
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