WASHINGTON, July 5, 2011 — The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a US$5 million zero-interest credit to help Grenada strengthen its conditional cash transfer program. As a result, the project will improve coverage of poor households receiving cash transfers provided children go to school and to health check-ups.
“Grenada's safety net includes three targeted cash transfer initiatives which will be consolidated into a comprehensive conditional cash transfer (CCT) program,” said Hon. Nazim Burke, Minister of Finance, Planning, Economy, Energy and Cooperatives. “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 programs that have achieved good results in several countries.”
Burke said he expects that the combination of new financing and knowledge provided by the World Bank will greatly help improve Grenada's CCT program. Safety Net Assistance Program is consistent with our Government’s commitment to social protection for the poor and vulnerable, good governance and sound economic management, Burke concludes.
The combined effects of lower levels of tourism revenues and transfers from abroad including foreign direct investment and remittances — recent rise in prices for food and fuel, and natural disasters — have reduced purchasing power among the poor, and raised unemployment levels.
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 amongst the most vulnerable.
“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,” said Françoise Clottes, World Bank Director for the Caribbean.
Specifically, the Grenada Safety Net Advancement Project will finance a plan to strengthen the new consolidated Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program and the capacity of the 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.
Social policy officials in the OECS recommended in January 2010 a reform of Social Safety Net Programs as Member Countries seek to design more efficient strategies to help the region's most vulnerable persons.
The two US$5 million zero-interest credits from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) are repayable in 40 years, including a 10-year grace period.