The Board of Directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved USD10 mn from the Special Development Fund for the eight cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 8). This decision was made at the 264th meeting of the Board, held Thursday, December 11 at the Bank's headquarters in Barbados. Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos Islands are the countries within the CDB membership which participate in the Fund. The governments of these countries will provide counterpart funding of USD546,000. Key emphases of BNTF 8 will be: improved access to quality education; human resource development; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage enhancement in low-income, vulnerable communities. There has also been a progressive shift from a focus on infrastructure development managed by central government, to community managed sub-projects. Increased investments have been made to improve basic infrastructure and services and increase the potential for economic activity through skills training, capacity building and institutional development support. The BNTF's vision supports a focus on meaningful community/citizen participation and empowerment and developmental change in communities where needs are greatest. It underlines the importance of creating opportunities for income generation and job creation. The BNTF Programme began October 1979 and is a grant-funded poverty reduction programme managed by CDB which serves 10 countries. Its mission is to empower and equip communities with necessary resources, and improve their access to basic public services. Additionally, BNTF also directly targets youth-at-risk and promotes gender equality, environmental and disaster risk management, and maintenance and sustainability. Regionally, more than USD300 mn has been spent to date on projects which have benefitted more than 2.6 million people living in the poorest communities in these countries.