The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has announced USD40 million (mn) in funding for poverty reduction in eight countries in the Caribbean Region, through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). The resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9). Countries that will benefit are: Belize; the Commonwealth of Dominica; Grenada; the Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Jamaica; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and Suriname. “The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks," said Daniel Best, Director of Projects, CDB. Initiatives under BNTF 9 will be implemented during the period March 2017 to December 2020. Governments of the eight participating countries will provide total counterpart funding of USD6.04 mn. BNTF has implemented more than 2,750 sub-projects over the past 37 years, directly impacting the lives of more than 3 mn beneficiaries in poor communities. The programme is CDB' main vehicle for tackling poverty in the Region, through the provision of basic infrastructure and skills training towards improving the livelihoods of beneficiaries in participating countries. BNTF projects are implemented through grant financing from the Bank' Special Development Fund [Unified]. BNTF aligns with CDB' objective of poverty reduction through inclusive and sustainable economic growth, as articulated in the Bank' Strategic Plan 2015-2019. To learn more about BNTF, visit www.caribank.org/bntf.