On Wednesday 9 February 2022, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) hosted a grant award ceremony to recognize 27 organizations in seven Pacific Island countries who have been awarded grants to develop resilient community infrastructure.
The grants awarded from UNDP through the Governance for Resilient Development in the Pacific (Gov4Res) project will be used to construct 32 risk informed community projects in the areas of agriculture, water, public health, energy and infrastructure. It is anticipated these projects will enhance community resilience in Fiji, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
In acknowledging the Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management in Fiji, Mr. David Kolitagane expressed the Fijian Government’s full support for the Initiative and its alignment with government priorities.
“We are glad that it has been designed with a strong emphasis on collaboration and coordination between Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) working at the community level, with Local Government counterparts. This is important in identifying, designing and coordinating the delivery of projects to communities,” said the Permanent Secretary.
Echoing the same sentiments, Mr. Levan Bouadze, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji Resident Representative emphasised that the Initiative creates a space for communities to work closely with Government and other development partners to ensure that solutions and best practices can be replicated and scaled in other communities.
The need for a fundamental shift in the way community development is undertaken to ensure it withstands climate change and disasters and gender equality and social inclusion considerations are integral, was also highlighted during the award ceremony.
“Considering gender and social inclusion while integrating climate and disaster into these projects will help ensure outcomes are effective for all”, said Ms. Emi Tagi, Assistant Director for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ms. Virginia Dawson, Counsellor for the New Zealand High Commission, recognized the importance of risk-informed approaches that help tackle the urgent issues of our times including climate change, gender and social inclusion, economic shocks, and health security.
Mr. Kapchae Ra, Country Director for the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Fiji Country Office said, “Since 2016, the KOICA pacific office has focused on fighting climate change in the Pacific region. We will continue and expand our support in cooperation with UN agencies and other donors. I believe this Small Grants Initiative will be expanded after we witness the real fruits from these pilot projects.”
Following the award ceremony, the selected grantees will work closely with UNDP and Government partners to implement their risk informed community projects, enhancing community resilience in the region.
Find more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCviUpHjGT8
Background of the Initiative
The Gov4Res Small Grants Initiative was developed in partnership with the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) Pacific with funding support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The Initiative will provide technical support and grants of up to USD30,000 to Pacific based Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community-Based Organizations (CBOs).