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Frontpage News 2008 New round of grants to Estonian NGOs in July

New round of grants to Estonian NGOs in July

Estonia's second call for projects this spring will be rounded off in July, when grants amounting to approximately €400,000 will be committed to NGO projects across the country.

A total of 145 applications were submitted in response to the second open call under the Estonian €2.3 million NGO Fund. The largest number of project proposals came under the focus area for social integration and local development, counting for 25 percent of the available grants under the NGO Fund.

NGO Fund coordinator Maris Jõgeva related the significant demand for grants within the focus area for social integration to the challenges facing Estonia's social sphere and attempts by NGOs to play part in tackling these issues. According to Jõgeva, NGOs can provide support to activities such as care giving to family members, comprehensive integration of people with special needs, and towards the protection of children's rights.

In addition to funding to projects run by Estonian NGO's, the fund is instrumental in strengthening Estonian NGO's organisational capacity and influence. "The fund can kick-start the development of necessary services in the social sphere, but there is a significant need for the Estonian government and local governments to cooperate with NGOs in the longer run to solve social problems and make sure the services will be provided on an ongoing basis," Jõgeva said.

The NGOs that submitted proposals under the second call applied for a combined grant of 30 million kroons, more than three times the available amount of 6.2 million kroons. One third of these proposals were applications that had been further developed following rejection in the fund's first project round. A total 125 of the 145 applications passed the technical evaluation, of which 58 proposals concerned small-scale projects and 67 large-scale projects. Open Estonia Foundation, managing the fund, will conclude the project evaluation in July.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway support the Estonian NGO fund with €2.1 million, with the Estonian government providing the remaining ten percent of the fund. Over the coming three years small-scale grants will be provided to Estonian NGOs and social partners within the focus areas democracy and civil society, environment and sustainable development, and social integration and local development. A total six calls will be held under the fund, and the third open call has a deadline in September this year.