Jamaica Observer / KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government will be undertaking a number of development projects in rural areas under the ninth cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 9). Works will be carried out to improve water, sanitation and transportation services; enterprise development; access to education and development of human resource, including improving livelihoods.
Being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the BNTF aims to contribute to poverty reduction in rural communities by providing infrastructure and livelihood enhancement services.
Project Manager for JSIF, Kemeisha Batchan, said that intervention in these areas will assist in building social capital, particularly in rural communities where there is a higher incidence of poverty.
“The recent Survey of Living Conditions 2016 conducted by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), reveals that 45 per cent of Jamaica’s population lives in rural areas where the incidence of poverty is about 28.5 per cent,” she informed.
This, she explained, forces migration of residents in search of opportunity to urban towns, perpetuating the cycle of poverty in these areas.
“With the lack of services, persons tend to migrate to urban areas, which in turn increases urban poverty,” she noted.
On October 18, 2017, Jamaica became the beneficiary of an initial US$7.52 million in grant funding under BNTF 9.
The allocation was part of a provision of US$40.8 million made available to nine Caribbean borrowing member countries of the CDB under the BNTF 9.
The flagship poverty-reduction programme of the CDB, the BNTF is aimed at contributing to improvement in the living conditions of poor and vulnerable communities in participating countries.
Completion of the BNTF programme is scheduled for December 31, 2020.