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BNTF's 5th Phase Set to Go

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - Project Manager of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Clive Hippolyte says to date all of the preconditions for the disbursement of funds under the 5th phase of the programme has been satisfactorily met. This latest development comes on the heels of the signing last week by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony, of a grant agreement with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Under the agreement CIDA from 2003 up until 2010 will provide an additional US$1.76 million for poverty reduction activities. That amount will be further augmented by Government who will make available supplementary funds, totalling EC$425 thousand.

Hippolyte says however there are select criteria regarding the allocation of funds coming from CIDA. “The first thing is that a limit of 20% of the total funding must be spent on rural roads, drains and footpaths. In addition, we will need to make amendments to our operations manual as one of the pre-conditions for the disbursement of funds under the BNTF 5 Programme. Under the modified amendment we will have to conduct an environmental assessment for every sub-project and also a gender analysis for every sub-project.”

Also forming part of the CIDA pre-conditions, BNTF sub-projects would now have to focus on alleviating the plight of persons affected by HIV/AIDS, while promoting greater prevention and education. The funds will boost those of the BNTF’s principle financial backer, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). An estimated EC$14.8 million will be spent on poverty alleviation under Phase 5.

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