Finland supports NGOs

07 Oct 2016 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 07 OCT (NAMPA) – The Embassy of Finland, through its funding instrument 'Fund for Local Cooperation (FLC)' has granted over Euros 580 000 (about N.dollars 8.7 million) to four Namibian civil society organisations in support of their non-governmental operations.
The organisations are Conservation Agriculture Namibia (CAN) that received a grant of Euros 178 923 (about N.dollars 2.7 million); Team Namibia, Euros 119 197 (about N.dollars 1.8 million); Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), Euros 167 600 (about N.dollars 2.5 million); and Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), Euros 115 062 (about N.dollars 1.7 million).
Speaking at the signing ceremony here on Thursday, Finland’s Ambassador to Namibia Anne Saloranta said the FLC remains one of the core instruments of the embassy for cooperation in Namibia.
She said given the limited resources of the Namibian Government to finance civil society activities, the embassy is able to extend support where it is most needed, especially to the most vulnerable segments of society.
“Civil society has contributed greatly to the progress. We note that many Namibian non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who actively contribute to policy debates and processes, will likely need the support also in the future, before sustainable strategies for Government support are put in place,” Saloranta said.
She stressed that the FLC is increasingly being used as means to strengthen local entrepreneurship capacity, particularly foreseeing possible export markets, as well as the facilitation of opportunities to strengthen trade between Finland and Namibia.
CAN Director, Colin Nott said the grant will assist in the implementation of a two-year programme that aims at improving conservation agriculture and rangeland management in the Northern areas of Namibia
On his part, Team Namibia Chairperson Pieter Greeff welcomed the grant, noting it will be used toward improving the capacity and competitiveness of Namibian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be integrated into the national and international economy.
Greeff stressed that the grant will also assist in SME's ability to participate in and benefit from local, regional and international trade opportunities.
IPPR Executive Director, Graham Hopwood commended the embassy for the grant, noting that the money will go toward the implementation of the Democracy Report project that aims to promote a better understanding of the tenets of democracy throughout Namibia.
LAC Director, Norman Tjombe said the funds will go toward empowering women and children through access to information in the country.
Tjombe explained that the project aims to provide information about the legislative framework on children protection to those who most need it.