Following the assessment of applications submitted to the grant competition in support of development cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has awarded funding to five projects to be carried out in Central Asian countries – Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – and in Moldova, a country of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership.
The total funding made available for the projects is EUR 157,000. In accordance with the Development Cooperation Policy Plan and the Competition Regulations, at least 50 per cent of the funding available is envisaged for projects run by NGOs and social partners.
Grants have been awarded to the following highest-scoring projects:
1. “Quality infrastructure in Moldova: European standards as a tool for knowledge and technology transfer and support for SME competitiveness in the EU market” – a project by SIA Standartizācijas, akreditācijas un metroloģijas centrs (the Centre for Standardisation, Accreditation and Metrology);
2. “Support for the establishment of a national level cooperation platform and measures to foster growth in Moldova’s rural regions” – a project by an association, Latvijas Lauku forums (Latvian Rural Communities Parliament);
3. “Development of cooperation between Latvia and the Central Asian countries for agricultural growth in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan” – a project by Latvia University of Agriculture;
4. “Quality education and safe environment for Central Asian girls” – a project by an association, Centrs MARTA;
5. “Support from the Latvian clean technologies cluster CLEANTECH LATVIA for the administrative capacity building of regional self-governments in Uzbekistan’s rural regions” – a project by the CLEANTECH LATVIA association.
Twenty one project grant applications totalling 662 646.37 euros were submitted for the competition. The Foreign Ministry welcomes the high interest that public institutions, non-governmental organisations and the private sector companies – all eligible for taking part in the competition under the Law on International Assistance – have shown in development cooperation projects.
In 2017, the Foreign Ministry is also going to launch a competition within its bilateral development cooperation budget to provide co-financing for projects run by civil society organisations. In addition, considering the needs identified by partner countries and Latvia’s expertise, long-term strategic projects in development cooperation are being carried forward and projects that have attracted funding from other donors are supported. With a view to raising public awareness of and support for development cooperation goals and policy, building the capacity of organisations to carry out development cooperation projects in support of partner countries, and representing Latvia’s interests in EU fora, direct financing of civil society organisations also continues in 2017.