Poor families to benefit from World Bank money
WASHINGTON, United States, Wednesday July 6, 2011 - Grenada has received a US$5 million zero-interest credit from the World Bank to help strengthen its conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme, improving coverage of poor households receiving cash transfers, provided children go to school and do health check-ups.
About 8,000 families are expected to benefit from the initiative.
CCT programmes aim to reduce poverty by making welfare benefits conditional upon the receivers' actions. The government only transfers the money to persons who meet certain criteria, including enrolling children into public schools, getting regular medical check-ups, receiving vaccinations, etc.
Grenada's Minister of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Cooperatives, Nazim Burke, says the country has three targeted cash transfer initiatives and they will be consolidated into a comprehensive CCT programme using the World Bank funds.
"Grenada welcomes the World Bank's support for our reforms in the area of social protection, having regard for its long track record of designing effective CCT programmes that have achieved good results in several countries," he said.
Burke said he expects that the combination of new financing and knowledge provided by the World Bank will greatly help improve Grenada's CCT programme.
The World Bank said the combined effects of lower levels of tourism revenues and transfers from abroad, including foreign direct investment and remittances, the recent rise in prices for food and fuel, and natural disasters have reduced purchasing power among the poor and raised unemployment levels. It said Grenada's available social safety net initiatives are not currently able to fully respond to mitigate the impacts of these shocks or effectively promote productive investments among the most vulnerable.
World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Françoise Clottes, said the new financing will strengthen safety nets in order to prevent potential declines in living standards while maintaining investments, by providing financial support to families most in need.
Specifically, the project will finance a plan to strengthen the new consolidated CCT programme and the capacity of the island's Ministry of Social Development to implement it.
It will also improve coverage of poor households receiving cash transfers and improve education outcomes of poor children and health monitoring of vulnerable households.
Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. ( )