The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is a Regional financial institution which was established by an Agreement signed on October 18, 1969, in Kingston, Jamaica, and entered into force on January 26, 1970. The Bank came into existence for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of the member countries in the Caribbean and promoting economic cooperation and integration among them, having special and urgent regard to the needs of the less developed members of the Region.
One of the vehicles used by CDB to aid in its development efforts is its grant funded programme, the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). BNTF is a direct targeted poverty reduction programme, whose mission is to empower and equip communities in its 10 participating countries with necessary resources, and improve their access to basic public services.
The BNTF has been addressing poverty reduction over the course of six (6) programme cycles. The seventh cycle of BNTF (BNTF 7) has been launched and focuses on three key strategic development priorities:
- Education and Human Resources Development
- Water and Sanitation
- Community Access Roads and Drainage
Additionally, BNTF 7 also directly targets youth-at-risk and promotes gender equality, environmental and disaster risk management, and maintenance and sustainability. By also focusing on skills development and micro-enterprise development, the programme promotes employability and income generation among the most marginalised and poorest groups in communities such as persons with disabilities. BNTF promotes direct action within communities in a manner that nurtures community change and a more holistic approach to helping them emerge out of poverty and be less vulnerable over time. There is an increased emphasis on generating results information on the impact of BNTF’s contribution to poverty reduction.