More than 120,000 persons have benefited from interventions implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), under its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) programme, now in its ninth cycle.
The disclosure was made by Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’, held at the agency’s headquarters Monday (February 1).
“Since BNTF Five in 2003, US$28.51 million has been used to invest in more than 180 projects, benefiting more than 120,000 persons,” Mr. Sweeney said.
The BNTF is a special fund developed and hosted within the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Borrowing Member Countries (BMC). The money collected is redistributed to the BMCs in the form of grants to allow for the development of critical infrastructure and social services within the countries.
Mr. Sweeney pointed out that in Jamaica, the fund is used to cover five specific areas, including education and human resource development; access and drainage; water and sanitation systems; health, and livelihood enhancement.
“Our investment in education utilises more than 50 per cent of the resources,” Mr. Sweeney said, noting that the expansion of classroom spaces accounts for the majority of the work done.
Other interventions include rehabilitation of rural farm feeder roads; rehabilitation of community water systems; community-based agriculture and tourism enterprise enhancement, and the rehabilitation of health centres.