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Boost for human rights

Minister of Finance, Chris Sinckler (shirt jack) at today’s launch of a European-financed Small Grants Scheme for Non- State Actors at the EU local office, Hastings. Sinckler is joined by Acting EU Head, Claude Bochu (right), Rudy Grant, Chair of the NSA Panel and Dennis De Peiza, Chair of the NSA Small Grants Fund Committee.

Human rights initiatives in Barbados can now benefit from financial assistance.

This is being made possible through the funding of a Small Grants Scheme for Non-State Actor organisations in the island, which was launched this morning at the local headquarters of the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean on Hastings, Christ Church.

The European Commission has provided $250,000 to the scheme, which will also focus on strengthening the human resource development of NSAs in general, but also help them improve the delivery of their programmes.

Chairman of the Non-State Actors Small Grants Funds Committee, Dennis De Peiza told the ceremony attended by representatives of various NGOs, that the maximum sum to be awarded to an applicant for a given project, was $20,000.

“Careful note should be taken of the fact that an applicant is eligible to receive only one award in a calendar year, and shall not be eligible for another award within 12 months after the completion of the project,” de Peiza pointed out.

He warned that all beneficiaries would be held accountable for the spending of the money and would be required to implement the project for which funding had been provided, within three months of approval.

“They will also be required within a period of eight months, to submit a final report to the secretariat of the NSA panel. For the purposes of administering the application process, a NSA Selection Grant Committee will shortly be established to ensure transparency,” he added.

De Peiza made it clear that only NGOs and members of the civil society community which are registered non-profit organisations, would be eligible to apply for funding.

“It is expected that the funds will be specifically used to support training in the form of seminars and workshops, conferences, capacity building and networking activities, institutional strengthening, the purchase of equipment and supplies, advocacy and research,” he explained.

Manager of the EU National Authorising Office, Seibert Frederick disclosed that, under the 10th European Development Fund, which was dedicated to human resource development, a total budget of $585,356 has been allocated to assist the Non-State Actors’ Panel to meet its operating cost.

“With the assistance of the office of the NAO, which has the responsibility for establishing and managing this account, and with the continued cooperation of the panel, we have managed to have various initiatives funded.

“This effort, provided by the EU to offer grant funding of $250,000 in order to strengthen human resource development of the NSAs, is therefore timely,” added Fredericks.

Acting Head of the EU Delegation, Claude Bochu, informed persons who attended the launch that the focal sector for the 10th European Development Fund, was resource development, with the EU supporting the implementation of the Barbados Government’s five-year Human Resource Development Strategy.

Bochu was of the view that an integral element of such development, was the invaluable role of non-state actors, and the Delegation was delighted to support responsibility of NSAs through the small grants scheme. (EJ)

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