The Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) under the portfolio of the Office of the Premier has recently agreed to the BNTF10 Grant funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and appointed a new head of the local Office.
According to a release from the Government Information Unit, the grant agreement for the BNTF10 Programme Cycle for a total of six hundred and seven thousand US dollars (US$607,000) or approximately EC$1.65 million dollars was signed by the Premier and Minister of Finance, Joseph E. Farrell on July 13, 2021.
In expressing gratitude for the CDB’s contribution of grant funds under this tenth project cycle, Premier Farrell noted that Montserrat has been a part of the BNTF family for the past 42 years. He said the Government and people of Montserrat are looking forward to continuing in the programme for the foreseeable future.
Farrell further stated that as Premier and Minister of Finance he intends to work towards the reinstatement of Montserrat as a full participating member of the BNTF programme.
During periods of structural adjustments, fiscal constraints, as well as weak economic growth in Montserrat’s Economy, the BNTF has been there to meet basic needs, add value and strength to poor and vulnerable communities, and improve the lives of women, men and children on island.
The range of infrastructure development, educational and poverty reduction projects, that were successfully delivered for five (5) cycles from BNTF5 to BNTF9 include:
- Davy Hill and St John’s Community Centre Projects;
- Hope Water Tank Replacement and elevation of water mains across Ghauts;
- Salem Centre Water Mains Replacement;
- Early Childhood Education (Teacher Development) Project;
- Greenhouse Project at Montserrat Secondary School;
- Banks, Barzeys, Drummonds, Mars Hill and Cavalla Hill to Barzey’s Road Rehabilitation Projects; and
- Steelpan Revitalization Project.
As programmes continue to be delivered under the 10th Cycle, the Government will put measures in place to ensure that the Oversight Entity and the Implementation Agency work towards developing and delivering the projects identified in the new Country Policy Framework in a timely and efficient manner.
Additionally, a new Project Manager was recently appointed to lead the BNTF. Miss Jennifer V Meade was appointed as Project Manager, BNTF for a two-year term commencing July 1, 2021.
Miss Meade is the holder of a Professional Qualification for a Certified Residential Underwriter (CRU), from the Real Estate Institute of Canada, and a Second Class Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies.
Miss Meade also possesses certification in the following selected areas: Business Administration, Project Management training for Private Sector Organizations and Strategic Planning for National Development Foundations in the Eastern Caribbean.
She held several senior professional roles in Barclays Bank PLC in Montserrat and Tortola branches over a nineteen year period – 1980 to 1999, Loans/Project Officer with the National Development Foundation from 2000 to 2010 and Manager of the Montserrat Building Society from 2010 to 2020.
Prior to Ms. Meade’s appointment, Mervin Browne served as Project Manager, Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Office with the Government of Montserrat for a period of thirteen (13) years from June 2008 to July 2021.
Mr. Browne championed the sub-projects for five (5) cycles – BNTF5 to BNTF9 – of the BNTF Programme, and successfully delivered the range of infrastructure developments, educational and poverty reduction projects. Based on the select projects specified above, it is evident that the Government and people of Montserrat have benefited tremendously from Mr. Browne’s astute project leadership and management competencies.
Premier Joseph E Farrell and Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Premier, Daphne Cassell, extended their appreciation to the Caribbean Development Bank as a development partner for over four decades and Mervin Browne for his tremendous contribution, and welcomed Jennifer V Meade to the BNTF family.