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Basic Needs Trust Fund Enters Phase 5

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - As the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) prepares to end its operations under the fourth phase of the programme in September 2002, communities across the island are being encouraged to submit project proposals for possible funding under the Small Project Component of the programme.

Community Worker attached to the Basic Needs Trust Fund, Mathias Burt, says BNTF 4 will cease to exist from September 31, 2002 and a new phase of the programme BNTF 5 will commence operations from October 1, 2002. Burt says to qualify for funding under the Small Project Component, projects among other criteria must fall in the range of fifty thousand EC dollars and have a heavy focus on community involvement and participation.

“What is encouraging is that some of the projects are being undertaken by community enterprise, that is the community members are actually the contractors on those projects,” said Burt. He noted that, “it is part of the philosophy of the BNTF and also the Caribbean Development Bank that communities should become as involved as possible in the identification, execution and implementation of such sub-projects. This small project component fosters that type of community involvement and participation so as to get greater community empowerment.”

The BNTF is also attempting to document the experiences and lessons learnt over the years as well as highlight the way forward. According to Burt, “we would want to introduce to the local and regional public what BNTF 5 will entail and what areas will be focused on. One areas that both BNTF and the CDB would like to emphasise is the whole idea of skills training for employment generation. This is a component which will be examined with a microscope because we really want to do it well and to encourage people to apply to that particular fund.”

Forty percent of the funding for the BNTF comes from Government with the remaining sixty percent coming from the Caribbean Development Bank.


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