CDB and Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Launch USD4.7 Million Project for Poverty Alleviation

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Prime Minister, The Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in conjunction with officials of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), officially launched the Seventh Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme (BNTF 7) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines yesterday, Tuesday, June 11, 2013 during a brief ceremony at the Sunset Shores Hotel, Villa. Speaking on behalf of the Bank, CDB's Vice-President (Operations), Dr. Carla Barnett stressed CDB's commitment to confronting poverty head-on through intensifying efforts to improve social and economic infrastructure, as well as the development of skills to enhance potential for employability and increased economic activity among the poorest and most vulnerable. The CDB's flagship programme for poverty reduction, BNTF has operated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 1979, contributing strongly to national development in the past 32 years. Guided by its mandate to help poor, vulnerable communities improve their access to basic public services, BNTF has provided assistance with social and economic infrastructure, as well as provided skills training to hundreds to enhance employability and self-sufficiency in communities across the country. BNTF 7 is funded by a Grant of USD4.7million (EC$12.7million) of which approximately USD3.9million will be spent on various community driven sub-projects in Education and Human Resource Development, Basic Access and Drainage Enhancement and Water and Sanitation Enhancement. The BNTF 7 Programme launch was followed by a two-day workshop which concludes today, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The workshop focussed on critical operational issues such as Governance, Programme Effectiveness and Efficiency, Maintenance and Sustainability, and Environmental Management and Climate Change Adaptation. Participants in the launch and workshop included staff of the local BNTF Office, the BNTF Project Steering Committee and representatives from a cross-section of community-based, governmental, non-governmental and private organisations. The BNTF Programme in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is administered through the BNTF Office which is under the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Transformation, Forestry, Fishers and Industry. CAPTION: Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Honourable Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (centre), with Minister of Agriculture, Industry, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Transformation, the Honourable Saboto Caesar (left) and Vice-President (Operations) of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr. Carla Barnett at the official launch of BNTF 7.

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