By Ndey Sowe
The European Union (EU) has funded around eighty-five million dalasi (D85, 000, 000.00) grant to three non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the Gambia, under the project dubbed: “Civil Society Organization as Actors of Governance and Leadership.”
The three NGOs are ActionAid International-the Gambia (AAITG), Action Against Hunger-Gambia and ‘Mbolo’ Association.
The aforementioned NGOs last week launched their EU-funded contracts to deliver good governance and accountability, social cohesion and a transformed economy, for the wellbeing of all Gambians.
The program is aimed at increasing the participation of CSOs in tackling climate change and promoting environmental sustainability, with focus on labor intensive works. The three-year program which started in 2020 will be ending in December 2022.
H.E. Corrado Pampaloni, European Union Ambassador to The Gambia, said CSOs are assets and key actors for the development of any country; that in the Gambia, the change of regime in 2017 unleashed the potential of CSOs.
“In the past, CSOs played a critical role in filling the gaps where Government was unable to provide services adequately,” he said; that in recent years, Government has increasingly sought partnership with civil society to mobilize additional resources to provide crucial services to the poor, and reach SDGs for the country particularly at local and community levels.
“This program aligns many priorities at the core of the EU program from mitigating climate change and promoting environmental sustainability, to women and youth empowerment, support to CSO and citizen participation to the development of human capital,” he said.
Lamin Dibba, the Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources in his keynote address emphasized the need for active participation of NGOs and other development partners to complement Government’s effort to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
While recognizing the invaluable contribution of the three NGOs, Minister Dibba assured that Government will continue to provide the much-needed protection and safe environment.
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries and other stakeholders involved in the promotion of a green economy and environmental sustainability, heads of various NGOs, Governors from various Regions, project beneficiaries and communities amongst other partners.
Other speakers included Omar Badjie, Executive Director of AAITG, Ablavi Madeleine Djossou, Country Manager Action Against Hunger-Gambia and Malang Sambou, Country Chairperson of ‘Mbolo’ Association.