Various officials from the Caribbean Development Bank will be in Belize on Thursday, April 11th, for the launch of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) programme. The Basic Needs Trust Fund is a program promoting poverty reduction through socio-economic initiatives and community empowerment. Its mission is “to be a community development programme that supports health, education, water and sanitation, access and economic activities through skills training, organizational development and infrastructure and services”.

This initiative was launched in 1979 by the Caribbean Development Bank with financial assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). To date, there have been seven replenishments of the Basic Needs Trust Fund with the approval of BNTF 7. BNTF 5, 6 and now 7 have been made possible with support from the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, several school buildings, water systems, health and resource centers have been constructed in Belize. There have also been a number of developmental workshops and skill training courses throughout the country. The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a $10.6 million grant to the Government of Belize under the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) programme. The grant will be used for poverty reduction projects to be implemented by the Social Investment Fund (S.I.F.) throughout Belize in the areas of education, water and sanitation, road access, etc.
Belize is one of ten countries contributing to and benefiting from the Basic Needs Trust Fund. The others are the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Guardian