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Groups receive GEF small grants

Groups receive GEF small grants

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An outlet has been provided for civil society organizations to receive funding in their journey towards implementing programmes that benefit and develop their environment.

The official launch of the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) in St Vincent and the Grenadines was {{more}} held yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room, during which eight organizations received funding for various initiatives within the country.

In an overview of the project, national project coordinator Hayden Billingy noted that the programme targets communities that are vulnerable and poorest, in an effort to build capacity.

“SGP seeks to generate sustainable livelihoods, reduce poverty and create opportunities for employment in the communities,” Billingy said.

The coordinator also noted that GEF SGP, which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), focuses on five focal areas for project funding.

These include biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, prevention of land degradation and also sustainable management, protection of international waters and reduction in chemicals.

According to Billingy, 35 project proposals were submitted to the National Steering committee (NSC), with monies being committed to nine local projects so far.

“We have to organize what we call site field visits. The NSC will attend these functions and look at some of the parameters to ensure that the work plan is followed strategically and ensure that every element of the project is completed,” he said, with reference to a monitoring phase, once monies are distributed to organizations.

In his remarks at yesterday’s launch, Stephen O’Malley, UNDP resident representative to Barbados and the OECS, declared that GEF SGP is off to a very strong start in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“This launch and presentation ceremony highlights the commitment of the GEF small grants programme and the United Nations development programme to empower local communities to access grants through this programme in order to address specific environmental and social issues contributing to a more sustainable future and building resilient nations,” O’Malley said.

“Our research has shown that these kinds of national support programmes are the most effective ways to increase the absorptive capacity of NGOs in the Eastern Caribbean, especially in time of scarce resources, effective planning, and implementation of resources.”

The UNDP representative wished the grantees all the best and noted that he was looking forward to witnessing their successes.

The civil society organizations that received grants, which range from US$5,000 to US$50,000, include Lions Club South, Mayreau Regatta and Sporting Committee, SVG Association of Music Professionals Inc, North Leeward Tourism Association, Radio Grena­dines Inc, Southern Grena­dines Water Taxi Association, Nayabingui Order of St Vincent, Science Initiative for Environmental Conser­va­tion and Education and Sustainable Grenadines Inc. (BK)