Basic Needs Trust Fund

Since its inception in 1979, the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) Programme has been contributing to poverty reduction in targeted communities by providing infrastructure and livelihood enhancement services nationally and regionally. So far, there have been seven BNTF Programme cycles, implementing over 2,000 sub-projects to directly impact the lives of more than 2.8 million people in poor commu­nities. The Programme supports a socially inclusive development process that empowers the poor and vulnerable, and supports institutional development. Community participation is essential to every sub-project, as this facilitates local ownership of BNTF investments and enhances social capital within each community.

Successive BNTF Programmes have undergone design modifications and increased resource contributions, and currently support interventions in ten participating countries (PCs) with financing mainly from the Unified Special Development Fund (SDF) of CDB and counterpart financing from participating Governments. Previous cycles have also received co-financing from USAID and CIDA. The Participating Countries are Belize, The Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Today, a large percentage of the poor still require access to BNTF investments. Analyses of BNTF 5 and BNTF 6 reveal that the greatest demand is for education and human resource development (46%), water and sanitation (23%) and community access (13%).

The seventh cycle of the Basic Needs Trust Fund aims to reduce poverty and vulnerability by enhancing access to basic social and economic infrastructures and supporting education and development. Specifically, this new cycle seeks to provide low-income, vulnerable communities with better access to quality education and human resource devel­opment (HRD), and to improve water and sanitation, and basic community access and drainage.

The BNTF Mission and Vision

The overall objective of BNTF 7 is to reduce poverty and vulnerability through enhanced access to basic social and economic infrastructure and HRD Services. Fulfilment of the BNTF vision is realised by operations underpinned by five central pillars:

Community participation and empow­erment: enabling the most vulnerable to be directly involved and take ownership of the project and future community development

Results and communications: gener­ating more rigorous evidence on where and how the BNTF has had most impact on people’s lives in low-income communities

Community assets: helping commu­nities build more assets and be more resilient

Transformational effects: helping communities to emerge out of poverty and be less vulnerable over time, stemming intergenerational poverty

Cooperation: attracting a range of needed services and addressing wider challenges being faced by community residents (e.g., disability, inequality and youth at risk).


  • The BNTF Programme invests in community-led development in a way that nurtures community change processes. It takes a holistic approach to building multi-faceted aspects of a community (it sees the community as an integrated whole), and it is responsive to local demand, needs and priorities.
  • The Programme prioritises and links ‘sector support’ and ‘direct community support’, and builds capital in a holistic manner.

BNTF Mission Statement

By providing resources to poor communities, we improve access to basic public services and enhance employability. We aim to reduce the economic and social vulnerability of women, men, girls and boys, lowering risks that may otherwise impact their income and well-being.