Cypriot NGO fund launched
The newly established Cypriot NGO Fund was officially launched in Nicosia on 9 December. "We hope the fund will encourage long-term co-operation and understanding between the two communities in Cyprus," said Norwegian political advisor Gry Larsen, speaking at the event.
The NGO fund will support activities to improve health and childcare services, and to empower young people to take part in civil society in Cyprus. At €1.5 million, the fund is proportionally the largest NGO fund to be supported by the EEA and Norway Grants. A minimum 20% of the funding is made available for bi-communal projects that will benefit both communities in Cyprus, with a view to encourage bi-communal contacts.
The NGO fund has been eagerly anticipated by Cypriot civil society, and around 200 representatives from 120 Cypriot organisations attended the launch at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Nicosia. Five Norwegian organisations were also present at the launch, exploring opportunities for possible bilateral partnerships with Cypriot NGOs. "The grants will facilitate strong, long-term cooperation between NGOs in Norway and in Cyprus," said Gry Larsen.
Cypriot NGOs can now apply for grants ranging from €15,000 to €70,000, to cover up to 90 percent of their project costs. The NGO project promoters are expected to cover the remaining expenditures. Eligible applicants can submit their applications to the fund intermediary First Elements Euroconsultants until March 9, 2009.
The Cypriot fund is the newest addition to the NGO funds supported by the EEA and Norway Grants. More than €80 million has been set aside to support civil society in South and Central Europe through 19 NGO funds established in 12 beneficiary states.