BNTF 9 launched in Saint Lucia

GIS: A US$2.97 Million Grant will be Allocated Toward Infrastructure and Livelihood Enhancement Services.

The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), the Caribbean Development Bank’s flagship program for poverty reduction has contributed significantly to national development in Saint Lucia since it commenced operations on the island in 1979.

In keeping with the theme “Partnering Against Poverty,” the implementation agency for the BNTF program, the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) recently held an opening ceremony to launch the BNTF 9 program, for which Saint Lucia received a grant allocation of US$2.97 million dollars.

Acting Manager for the Caribbean Development Bank, George Yearwood, said the CBD sought to increase grant resources in order to more effectively tackle poverty in the region.

“After extensive discussions, the CDB has negotiated increased contributions for the Special Development Fund to secure grant resources for a nimbler BNTF program with a more ambitious agenda for tackling poverty in the region. National BNTF projects in Saint Lucia and in eight other countries stand to benefit from a grant allocation of some US$40.8 million, of which Saint Lucia receives an initial amount of US$2.97 million. Saint Lucia is further eligible to receive a portion of an unallocated incentive amount of US$5.2 million to be received at mid-term based on project performance.”

Minister for Equity, Social Justice, Empowerment, Youth Development, Sports, Culture and Local Government, Hon. Lenard Montoute, expressed gratitude to the Caribbean Development Bank for its continued support.

“I am unaware of any donor-funded program that has spawned so many cycles, and indeed almost four decades of the BNTF has taken place. The support that we have received here in Saint Lucia is unprecedented, and I would like to take the opportunity to publicly congratulate the Caribbean Development Bank for its commitment.”

The Basic Needs Trust Fund program has been contributing to poverty reduction in Saint Lucia by providing infrastructure and livelihood enhancement services.

The BNTF program launching was held on Oct. 4 at the Golden Palm Resort in Rodney Bay.