Early Childhood Training and Steel Pan Revival Among BNTF9 Projects for Montserrat

Joint Primary School Steel Orchestra performing at the opening of St. Patrick’s Festival 2015. (File Photo)

The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Oversight Entity chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, has approved five sub-projects which will be implemented under the 9th cycle of the BNTF programme.

According to a release from the Government Information Unit (GIU) the approved projects are, Mars Hill Road Rehabilitation; Barzey’s Bypass Road; Early Childhood Practitioners Training; Revival of Steel Pan Music and Salem to Desert Storm Water Mains Replacement.

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will fund 95% of these projects and the Government of Montserrat will fund the remaining 5%. Seven hundred and eighty thousand United States dollars (USD$780,000.00) have been allocated from the CDB for the BNTF9 cycle. The funds are intended to cover the cost of the sub projects, project management support, institutional development, monitoring and evaluation and implementation support.

BNTF Project Manager, Mervin Browne said, “the implementation could commence as soon as the last quarter of 2018.” He explained that certain requirements must be satisfied before the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) releases the funds. Mr. Browne said, “Currently the BNTF Implementing Agency (IA) is working on all required pre-project implementation documents to satisfy the conditions stipulated before the first disbursement of CDB grant funds.”

The BNTF programmes support a socially inclusive development process that empowers the poor and vulnerable, and supports institutional development.

So far, there have been nine BNTF Programme cycles, implementing over 2,000 sub-projects to directly impact the lives of more than 2.8 million people in poor communities across the Caribbean. Community participation is essential to every sub-project, as this facilitates local ownership of BNTF investments and enhances social capital within each community.

Over the years, BNTF programmes have contributed positively to Montserrat’s development efforts. Some of the programmes funded under previous BNTF cycles include, the construction of the Abbatoir in Brades; the Barzey’s Community Road Rehabilitation and the Drummonds Community Road Rehabilitation, among others.

The BNTF Oversight Entity, chaired by Daphne Cassell, Permanent Secretary, Office of the Premier, has overall responsibility for the execution of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Project in compliance with requirements, standards and covenants set out in the Grant Agreement between the Government and CDB.

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