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CDB: “Partnering against Poverty”

Belize has been receiving funds from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) since 1979 under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) in an effort to help reduce poverty. This morning was the launch of the Ninth Cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza.  William Lamb, Executive Director of Belize Social Investment Fund, spoke to Love News about the project.

William Lamb, Executive Director of Belize Social Investment Fund

“It is the third loan that we are getting from CDB, and the second loan is about to finish in March next year and so government has already signed and approved this loan from the bank for $10 million Belizean dollars. This will be used in infrastructure projects to help in education, water and sanitation, community enhancements, we have a social development institutional strengthening and health sector that we work with.”

George Yearwood, the Portfolio Manager of the Basic Needs Trust Fund of the Caribbean Development Bank, also spoke to Love News about the Ninth Cycle.

George Yearwood – Portfolio Manager of BNTF

“What we have done this cycle however is to enhance our support to education by expanding the Reacher D program to provide livelihood enhancement. Many years ago we started with the skills training exercises and then we realized we needed to train towards certification. So in cycle 7 and 8 we introduced training towards NVQ and CDQ certification. In this cycle we take those participants a bit further by providing them with skills towards entrepreneurship and with small seed finance for access to tools and equipment to enable them to use their qualifications to improve their livelihoods, so that’s where we are now going with the cycle 9 program.”

The total value of the project is US $14.5 million of which US $10 million is a loan and US $4.5 million is a grant both from the Basic Needs Trust Fund.