Four Local Action Groups from Cahul and Ungheni regions will benefit from grants of a total value of €200,000, offered with European Union’s financial assistance. The Local Action Groups (LAGs) were selected this year through a grants’ contest launched by the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme, financed and strategically guided by the EU and implemented by UNDP and UNICEF.

Every LAG will receive non-reimbursable financial assistance of €50,000 and will contribute with at least 20% of the grant’s value. The financial assistance will be invested in community development projects and creation of new jobs in villages from Cahul and Ungheni regions.

“I am proud to witness another very concrete achievement of the EU Focal Regions programme. The EU is investing almost 23 million euros in the so-called "focal regions" of Ungheni and Cahul. An innovative programme that aims to spur inclusive, green, smart and sustainable economic development. I am pleased to underline the importance of the LEADER approach in the Republic of 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 created for the citizens and today we celebrate the Local Action Groups and outstanding ideas to increase the quality of life of the citizens. Allow me to congratulate the winners and thank all the Local and National Public authorities that are teaming up with us on this exciting initiative. Because we are stronger together!” stated Peter Michalko, European Union Ambassador in the Republic of Moldova.

This is the first Grants’ Call for LAGs from Cahul and Ungheni regions organized by the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme. Another call for LAGs will be launched in 2021.

The winners of the 2020 edition grants’ contest are the Local Action Groups “Lunca Prutului de Jos”, “Movila Măgura”, “Cişmeaua Sudului” and “Valea Halmagei”. They cover 49 rural communities with overall more than 85,000 inhabitants. Being established recently, the LAGs succeeded to attract investments and to implement programs with visible impact at the community level thanks to the EU approach called LEADER – an innovational and participative approach aiming to reduce economic and social gaps and urban-rural disparities.

“The Local Action Group ‘Lunca Prutului de Jos’ has been active for two years. During this time, we succeeded to invest over €60,000 in our communities, mainly thanks to European Union’s financing. Now we plan to implement 10 local initiatives, out of which half are from private sector. These projects will focus on reviving touristic sites, upgrading and diversifying agricultural and agri-food occupations, improving quality of cultural, social and educational services – these being priorities set in the Development Strategy of the LAG,” mentioned Silvia Ştirbeţ, Director of the Local Action Group “Lunca Prutului de Jos”.

The awarded Local Action Groups will launch calls for project proposals among members communities.

“We are glad to support the rural development in Moldova through LEADER approach – that was promoted and first put into practice by the EU and UNDP in previous programmes. I am confident that with working together with our local partners from Local Action Groups in Cahul and Ungheni we will address the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and build forward better by helping communities to re-invigorate local values and traditional approaches with new technologies and knowledge,” stated Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova.

Currently, 32 Local Action Groups are registered in the Republic of Moldova, covering 35% of rural areas.  

“EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” Programme (2019-2024) supports smart, inclusive and sustainable social-economic development in Cahul and Ungheni regions to ensure better standards of living for citizens. The Programme has a total budget of €23 million, is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Notes for editors:

LAG: three-party partnership among representatives of public, entrepreneurial and civic sectors established to manage together local development processes in the member communities.

LEADER: innovative and participatory approach aiming to reduce economic and social gaps and urban-rural disparities. LEADER Program (French acronym: community led local development) was launched in the EU Member States in 1991. The first LEADER initiatives were replicated in the Republic of Moldova in 2017 under a program with European financing.

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