UNDP launches N822m new GEF project funding
Riding on the crest of a steady growth in the profile of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) funded projects in the country, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled plans for a fresh project in Nigeria, worth over N822 million.
The projects are coming under the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), implemented by UNDP on behalf of the GEF partnership, and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). GEF-SGF is the third component of the GEF that provides funds fro countries to address global environmental issues.
While the UNDP GEF-SGP started in 1992, Nigeria was admitted into the programme in 2006. In March 2009, the scheme kicked off and to date, about 116 projects have been supported in Nigeria, close to ten organisational and individual awards have been recorded as thousands of community dwellers have not only benefitted but took active part in project design and implementation.
UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai who spoke at the Appreciation /Inauguration of the Old and New National Steering Committee (NSC) in Abuja organized by UNDP GEF Small Grant Programme in Abuja, explained that the programme supports activities of non-governmental and community-based organisations in developing countries by providing grants of up to $50,000 directly to local communities for projects in biodiversity, climate change, mitigation, adaptation, land degradation and sustainable forest management, international waters and chemicals.
According to Beyai, GEF-SGP has invested $450 million and leveraged similar levels of co-financing supporting 14,500 community- based projects in 125 countries. “The uniqueness of SGP is that it features decentalised decision making about grant awards, based on the strategic direction by a voluntary national steering committee in each participating country,” he said.
His words: “By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.”
The GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) National Coordinator, Mrs. Ibironke Olubamise, said that SGP has supported projects in 25 states in five years, allocation from GEF for grant since 2009 amount to $3,630,000 and Nigeria has raised $2,910, 376 co-financing in the support of over 100 NGOs to carry out community environmental initiatives.
In the proposed operational Phase Six of SGP, $1,750,000 has been earmarked for projects in Nigeria. She said that the NSC provides strategic direction and provide professional support to the programme in accordance with the country programme strategy and global best practices.
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