In 1979, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Caribbean Education Development and Basic Human Needs/Employment Sector Programme to reduce poverty in select CDB Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In subsequent years the Programme was renamed the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF). The BNTF programme is financed by grant financing from the CDB, and counterpart funds from the local government, each cycle of the BNTF programme extends over a period of four years. Currently, the Programme is in its 10th cycle.
The BNTF Programme targets the poor and vulnerable, through a community development modality that aims to improve the lives and livelihoods of beneficiaries by improving basic economic and social infrastructure and services, and increasing opportunities for economic activity through skills training, capacity building and institutional development support.
Today, the programme focuses on three key sectors: Education and Human Resource Development; Basic Community Access and Drainage Improvement; and Water and Sanitation Systems Enhancement.