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Caribbean (Regional)

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New Grant

Community Tourism Foundation (CTF), $399,450, over four years, to create and administer a small-grants fund for social and economic development projects implemented by grassroots organizations in the Eastern Caribbean. CTF will carry out a social investment campaign to raise funding from tourists and private enterprises in the tourism and financial services sectors. (CA-096) 

Building a Future on Tourism

By Carlo Dade, Foundation Representative for the Dominican Republic and Haiti

After a 10-year absence, the IAF has resumed support for grassroots development in the English-speaking Caribbean with a grant to the Community Tourism Foundation (CTF) of Barbados. To complement its award, CTF will raise $300,000 from the tourism sector — comprised of businesses and the visitors that support them to fund small-scale community development projects in the Windward and Leeward Islands of Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Kitts and Nevis. The ambitious goal of this grant is to meet close to 100 percent of the demand for such financing in these islands.

The Windward and Leeward Islands are places of sharp contrasts. Opulence generated by the tourism and banking sectors co-exists with stark deprivation. The grant to CTF will bridge the divide between wealth and poverty on the islands by harnessing income from tourism and, later, the financial sector to fund grassroots development projects. The grant will also be used to demonstrate the importance of social investment to business and to foster a culture conducive to private sector support for development projects. The need for this initiative is all the more urgent given the approaching end of U.S. trade preferences for bananas and sugar, which will devastate these small economies that are only now beginning to diversify. While the Windward and Leeward Islands are best known as tourist destinations, significant economic activity and employment possibilities there are still concentrated in agriculture.

Over the four-year period of its IAF-supported project, CTF expects to benefit 850 residents of impoverished Eastern Caribbean communities, including farmers and unemployed youth.