The Caribbean Development Bank’s flagship poverty reduction programme, the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), has invested more than USD0.5 million to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable in Saint Lucia.
In the urban George Charles Boulevard community, houses generally do not have showers and indoor plumbing, and the community standpipe has been some residents’ main facility for personal hygiene activities and washing. The absence of water and the lack of access to sanitation not only exacerbated the socio-economic issues in the area but also posed health risks due to the unhygienic practices.
A comfort station featuring toilet facilities, showers and a laundry was opened in July 2017, with funding through the BNTF. It responds to the need for improved wellbeing and health, and enhanced access to water and sanitation in the community. The new station was constructed at a cost of USD250,000, to which the Government of Saint Lucia made a 5% contribution.
Meeting the demand for child care services
BNTF has also invested in the revival of the Roving Caregiver programme in Saint Lucia.
This programme, which provides in-home support and education for parents of newborns and children up to three years, had been dormant since 2014 due to lack of funding. However, with the provision of USD333,000 dollars through BNTF, the programme resumed in January 2017.
So far, 282 children from 272 families have benefitted from the visits which provides child care tips and education such as stimulation exercises and information on nutrition.
The interventions were funded under the seventh cycle of BNTF, the overall objective of which is to reduce poverty and vulnerability through enhanced access to basic social and economic infrastructure and human resource development services. They were implemented by the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund.