European Union provides financial assistance for the development of rural communities in Cahul and Ungheni regions. A call for grants to Local Action Groups (LAG) in the two regions, as entities applying the LEADER method of development, is launched today under the "EU4Moldova: Focal Regions" Programme, funded by EU and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF.   

Local Action Groups can receive non-reimbursable financial assistance of up to €50,000 from European funds for actions that stimulate community development and create new jobs in the villages of these two regions.

“The EU stands by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and I am proud to announce another very concrete achievement of the EU Focal Regions programme. The EU is investing to reduce the gap between urban and rural areas to create better living conditions as well as sound economic development, which is even more important to help recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. To this extent, I am also pleased to underline the importance of the LEADER approach in Moldova, which was developed in the EU as an initiative to support rural development projects initiated at the local level in order to revitalise rural areas and create jobs. The EU Focal Regions programme is for the citizens and this call is another concrete step towards a better quality of life. Together we shall succeed because together we are stronger!” said Peter Michalko, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.

The supported activities should be conducted in the following 12 months. In 2020, four initiatives submitted by Local Action Groups, which will accumulate the highest score, will receive funding. The grants programme will continue in 2021-2024.

“With this invaluable partnership with the EU, we aim to boost economic development for the rural communities in the focal regions of Cahul and Ungheni and raise awareness on the increased role of Local Action Groups in reducing economic and social inequalities, urban-rural disparities, but also in achieving smart, circular and inclusive local development, equally for men and women, the young, elderly and the most vulnerable. This support is very timely namely with the unprecedented impact of COVID-19,” stated Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova.  

A panel of experts will evaluate project proposals in several selection stages. The eligibility criteria are as follows: 

  • The application for funding is submitted by a Local Action Group that includes rural communities from Cahul or Ungheni districts;
  • The applicant has submitted only one application;
  • The application involves administrative costs, which make up to 20% of the budget up to a maximum ceiling of €7,000;
  • Applicants will ensure a mandatory contribution of at least 20% of the total budget;
  • The requested budget will not exceed €50,000 per application;
  • At least 30% of the amount requested for funding is earmarked for economic development and job creation in rural areas of Ungheni and Cahul;
  • At least 50% of the final beneficiaries are residents of villages in Ungheni and Cahul districts;
  • The priorities indicated in the funding application are reflected in the Strategic Action Plans and/or are intended to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Eligible applications will proceed to the next selection stage where they will be assessed based on criteria such as relevance of the proposal, expected results and impact, feasibility and sustainability, synchronisation with the LAG's strategic objectives.

Detailed conditions of participation and Application Guide are available here. The "EU4Moldova: Focal Regions" Programme will conduct an online Question & Answer session dedicated to the grants programme on 23 June, 10:00. Interested Local Action Groups are kindly asked to register in advance by sending an e-mail to: natalia.lipca@undp.org.

Applications packages are to be sent by 14 of July 2020 to the e-mail address natalia.lipca@undp.org with the subject line "EU4MD/LAG (name of LAG) application". Each applicant will receive an email confirming the submission of the application package and a registration number.

The "EU4Moldova: Focal Regions" programme (2019-2024) supports smart, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in Cahul and Ungheni regions, in order to ensure a better quality of life for citizens. The programme has a total budget of €23 million. It is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

*** 

LAG: a tripartite partnership between representatives of the public, entrepreneurial and civic sectors created to jointly manage the local development processes of the member communities.

LEADER: innovative, participatory approach aimed at reducing economic and social imbalances and urban-rural disparities. The LEADER programme (French acronym: community-led local development) was launched in the EU member states in 1991. The first LEADER initiatives were replicated in Moldova in 2017 under a European-funded programme.  

For additional information, please contact:  Ina Prisacaru-Zglavuta, Communication Specialist, EU4Moldova Programme: Focal Regions, Tel: +373 69141006, ina.zglavuta@undp.org  

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