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Frontpage News 2010 Cyprus event marked successful NGO fund

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Cyprus event marked successful NGO fund

The conclusion of the NGO Fund in Cyprus was marked with a ceremony on 15 October in Nicosia. The NGO fund has supported 33 civil society projects.

At €1.5 million, the Cypriot fund is proportionally the largest NGO fund supported by the EEA and Norway Grants 2004-09. The NGO fund has supported 33 projects, targeting children, youth, health and childcare.

Bi-communal cooperation

An important aspect of the Cypriot NGO fund has been its encouragement of bi-communal cooperation. From the beginning, a minimum of 20% of the funding was earmarked bi-communal projects. In the end, more than 40% of the projects were implemented in cooperation between entities from both sides of the divide.

In his speech at the event, Norway’s Ambassador to Cyprus, Sverre Stub, said Norway was pleased that the NGO fund could make this contribution. “Engaging young people from both communities is vital for long-term dialogue, understanding and cooperation on this island”.

The 33 NGO projects on Cyprus are now in the process of being successfully rounded off. Ambassador Stubb praised the dedication of the people involved in the projects. “As a representative of Norway, I can say that we are proud to have supported your efforts. We are also pleased to see that several of the projects have been implemented in cooperation with Norwegian NGOs,” he said.

Continued support to NGOs

Negotiations between Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and Cyprus on priorities for the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-14 started on Monday 18 October.

The total contribution to Cyprus for the next period will be close to €8 million – a substantial increase from the period 2004-09. It remains however to be seen how large a part of this will be allocated to the new Cypriot NGO fund. The Government of Cyprus will continue the practice of national co-financing of the supported projects.

NGO funds will be established in all of the 15 beneficiary states and the support through these funds will be at least €100 million in total. NGOs will continue to be eligible for funding under other priority sectors of the EEA and Norway Grants.

Photo: Sigve Soldal Bjorstad, FMO