The Committee of Supply has approved the sum of $600 million for the implementation of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) 10th Cycle here in Guyana.
The sum was approved during the consideration of the national budget estimates on Thursday.
In providing an overview of the projects to be executed this year, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh noted that the BNTF has a reputation for executing excellent work in communities and this year is no different.
Dr Singh explained that the approved sums will be used for the construction of educational facilities, including nursery, primary, and special schools, as well as early childhood facilities in vulnerable communities.
In addition, the BNTF will also undertake rehabilitation of community roads, livelihood enhancement projects, and skills training programmes, as well as the construction of water supply systems in Nappi, Warawatta, Kariako, Kurukubaru and Surama.
Highlighting the impact of these initiatives on the identified communities, Dr Singh said,“ Of those there is a process because we have to not only identify these projects in consultation with the communities, but we also have to propose these projects to the CDB and they review them.”
Minister Singh announced that an additional $100 million was approved for special support to vulnerable communities through community development programmes and projects. The minister noted that the programme is not new and a dedicated three-member committee has been established to ensure its proper implementation.
“We have in fact, put in place an administrative structure which is in the form of a committee which did not exist previously.
“They receive these requests, they examine them, they engage with both the sectorial ministries and also in many cases some of these cases are implemented through NGOs or CSOs,” Dr Singh told the committee.
Under contributions to local organisations, the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) received the sum of $50 million to continue its mandate of providing financing to small businesses.
Minister Singh confirmed that the government is actively engaged in implementing the board of directors of LEN and that a management structure is already in place to manage the facility.