New projects start in Cyprus
Civil society, health, environment, children and youth and increased efforts to fight money laundering are among the priority areas for the EEA Grants to Cyprus.
A launch event for the eight pre-defined projects took place on Wednesday 5 December 2012 in Nicosia. At the launch, George Geroghiou, Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau (National Focal Point), Cyprus, said: “We are very grateful for the support and will do our best to use the money effectively”.
In the funding period 2009-2014, Cyprus has been allocated €7.9 million fro, the EEA Grants, up from €4.7 million in the previous five-year period.
Foster contact and understanding
The country has a history of conflict and there is a need to foster contacts and understanding between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. Therefore, the development and promotion of civil society and cooperation across the divide have been and continues to be key priorities. Close to one-third of the funding is earmarked for bi-communal projects.
Cyprus is among the 15 beneficiary states that receive the smallest grant amount. To maximise the impact of the limited funding, projects in Cyprus have been pre-defined, and there will only be open calls for proposals under the NGO fund. At a national level, funding is available through the bilateral funds to support networking and foster project partnerships.
Brief description funded projects:
• Improving public health (€1.2 million)
In the fight against leukaemia, the Grants aim to strengthen the services of the Cyprus Bone Marrow Registry; the registry serves people from both sides of the divide and contains data from both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
In another health project, the Grants will contribute to establishing new gene mapping facilities for Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.
• Tackling domestic violence (€0.7 million)
The Cypriot Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family has partnered up with the Norwegian Secretariat of the Shelter Movement. Together, they will establish a new, modern shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
• Justice and fight against money laundering (€1.0 million)
The project aims to strengthen capacity in Cyprus to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
• Home for Cooperation (€0.6 million)
The Grants continue to support the Home for Cooperation (H4C), a bi-communal activity centre in Nicosia. In particular, the Grants will support the centre’s bi-communal dialogue on history teaching as well as outreach activities at H4C. The Council of Europe is involved in this work.
• Biodiversity (€1.2 million)
The aim of this project is to halt the loss of biodiversity (in particular by reforestation) at Amiantos Asbestos Mine at Troodos National Forest Park, by improving mine restoration and management practices. Improvements of the surrounding landscape will make the site more attractive for visitors.
• Children and Youth (€0.4 million)
Refurbishment and transformation of Nea Eleousa into a modern day-care centre offering a range of services under one roof for children and young people with multiple disabilities will receive support.
• Cultural Heritage (€0.6 million)
Establishment of a ‘Centre for Visual Arts and Research’: art, literature and photo exhibitions documenting the shared cultural heritage of the islands.
Island-wide cooperation is further supported under the NGO Fund where bi-communal projects are prioritised. The NGO Fund also supports organisations working with environment and climate change, welfare and basic services and NGO capacity building.
In addition, Cyprus receives support from the Global Fund for decent work.
Photos by Christian Grotnes Halvorsen, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the launch event in Nicosia, Cyprus, 5 December 2012
Ms Elisabeth Walaas - Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr George Georghiou - Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau, Republic of Cyprus