The Government has significantly increased its allocation to the Basic Needs Trust Fund to $573 million in the 2019/20 fiscal year, from $163 million in 2018/19.
This was disclosed by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, as he opened the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 7).
Financed by grant resources from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Fund seeks to improve access to quality education and human resource development in low-income and vulnerable communities.
“This includes upgrades to rural primary schools and support to micro community enterprises,” Dr. Clarke said.
He noted that 14 projects will be undertaken throughout the next financial year in select communities across Jamaica.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport was allocated $126 million to facilitate the establishment of two new centres for women, who are victims of domestic violence, which will become available by the end of 2019/20 fiscal year.
“We will then have one centre to serve parishes in each of the three counties – Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey,” Dr. Clarke said.