Over the years, the European Union has played an integral role in the development of Belize, particularly in the sugar belt in the north and the banana belt in the south. The European Union is looking to invest even further in Belize by making grants available to non-profit organizations. Vanna Lawrence, Project Manager for the European Union, told Love news that the main purpose for the grant is to help with capacity building for civil society organizations.
Vanna Lawrence Project Manager European Union: “The grant is available to civil society organizations and this is a broad definition because it includes not only smaller entities in communities, it includes large entities such as Universities, such as entities that work with national bodies but it’s even broader than most definition of Civil Society because it also includes parliamentary foundations. It also includes foundations for profit organizations but the main thing about this grant is that it is not for entities that are designed to make profit. Across the world we have noticed that Civil society organizations are contracting, the space for them to operate is getting smaller and smaller. In Belize we believe that the demographic has shown a need for Civil society to act as a part of governance, to help government and other governing bodies, duty bearers to have a voice on behalf of certain groups and so the opportunity has been extended to Belize civil society organizations.”
The grant, Civil Society Organizations as Actors of Governance and Development in Country, is being made available to Belizeans for the first time. Lawrence went on to speak about the value of the grant.
Vanna Lawrence Project Manager European Union: “The value of the grant is you can apply for a maximum of 188,900 Euros or a minimum of $88,900 Euros. By November 14th of this year any person who is interested will have to submit an application in an electronic system called Prospect. That is the concept note, if your concept note is competitive, it finds favor then you would be informed by December 14th that you are to submit a full application by Feb 6th 2019.”
The funding is presently available to Belize and Jamaica which represent the largest area of cooperation.