Four Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) received, yesterday, grants amounting to a total of Rs 60 million under the European Union (EU) CSO programme for projects aimed at promoting inclusive and sustainable development. The grant certificate ceremony was held at the National Empowerment Foundation Building in Port Louis in the presence of the Minister of Social Integration and Economic Empowerment, Mr Alain Wong, the Ambassador of the EU delegation, Mrs Marjaana Sall, and other eminent personalities.
The grant beneficiaries are namely: the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association which aims at addressing demographic challenges through safe motherhood and family planning; the ENL Foundation for its commitment in supporting community empowerment of women for resilience and social inclusion; the Global Rainbow Foundation for their action in leaving no one behind; and Transparency Mauritius for its holistic promotion of good governance and accountability in public and private sectors in Mauritius and Rodrigues.
In his address, Minister Alain Wong pointed out that Government fully acknowledges the important role of CSOs in fostering dialogue and national consensus on major socio-economic issues and developmental programmes. As a key player in the Mauritian socio-political environment, he said, CSOs provide a voice to diverse social groups and people at grassroots' level.
The Minister recalled that the award of grants, follows the launching of the call for proposals 'Enhancing Civil Society Organisations' which was made in February 2018, by the Ministry and the EU delegation to Mauritius. On this score, he expressed his appreciation to the EU for its unwavering support and long-standing cooperation with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and CSOs.
He also highlighted the key role of the National CSR Foundation set-up by Government in December 2016 while adding that in 2017, following a first call of projects, the Foundation had approved 231 projects for an amount of Rs 201 million. Last year, he indicated, the Foundation launched its General call for proposals and as at date, an amount of Rs 224 million has been approved for the implementation of 224 projects. A sum of Rs 75 million has already been disbursed for some 160 projects, he added.
For her part, Mrs Sall stated that the EU has established a long term working partnership with CSOs both in Mauritius and Rodrigues. To this end, she emphasised that the EU has elaborated a roadmap for its engagement with CSOs so as to improve the service delivery capacities of NGOs.
She further underlined that the EU will continue in its endeavours to supporting the invaluable work of CSO's as they are the main drivers for change in terms of democracy, good governance, resilience, cohesions and the promotion of fundamental human rights.