Grenada focused on poverty reduction with new cycle of CDB funding

The Caribbean Development Bank has launched the ninth cycle of its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) in Grenada, under the theme “Partnering Against Poverty”.

Since its inception in 1979, the Fund has contributed to poverty reduction in 10 of the Bank’s Borrowing Member Countries, and positively impacted the lives of over 2.8 million people in poor communities.

Under the ninth phase, nine participating countries will benefit from a grant allocation of USD40.8 mn, of which Grenada receives an initial amount of USD2.54 mn. The country is also eligible to receive a portion of an unallocated amount of USD5.2 mn, based on project performance at mid-term review.

Speaking during last Tuesday’s official launch at Grenada’s National Stadium, Acting Portfolio Manager, BNTF, George Yearwood outlined key characteristics sub-projects should possess in order to qualify for funding.

George Yearwood, Acting Portfolio Manager, Basic Needs Trust Fund, CDB, speaking during BNTF 9 Cycle launch in Grenada.

“We are pleased to announce that the ninth programme of BNTF outlines a more strategic approach to generating economic activity at the community level, with a focus on the youth. Not only will we emphasise the importance of physical infrastructure, but we will also invest in areas which support employment, such as micro enterprise development, entrepreneurship, vocational and other skills training, and off course livelihoods enhancement,” said Yearwood.

Minister for Labour and Cooperatives, Hon. Oliver Joseph reiterated Grenada’s continued commitment to poverty reduction, noting that it is one of the country’s main goals, and a top priority for the Government.

Hon. Oliver Joseph, Minister for Labour and Cooperatives, Grenada.

“The BNTF 9 Cycle is expected to commence in earnest in Grenada in January 2018. This programme however, will see a shorter project cycle of three years, in contrast to the customary four years.  The fund is expected to maintain the priority areas of access and drainage, education and human resource development, water and sanitation, with cross cutting embedded themes of livelihoods, renewable energy and energy efficiency,” he said.

Under BNTF cycles seven and eight, Grenada completed 23 projects to the tune of USD3.0 mn, resulting in 400 jobs.  Cycle nine is scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2020.

The ninth cycle of BNTF has launched officially in Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Saint Lucia.  Launches in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname are scheduled for next year.  The launch ceremony for Dominica has been postponed indefinitely due to the impact of Hurricane Maria.