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$20m paid to civil society groups in Fiji

$20m paid to civil society groups in Fiji
European Union Delegation to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs.
September 17
11:35 2015

The European Union has provided $FJ20million to civil society organisations in Fiji during the last five years.

The head of the European Union Delegation to the Pacific, Andrew Jacobs, said civil society played a pivotal role in democratic societies.

“Out of this amount, FJ$7m came through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and the Civil Society and Local Authorities budget lines,” Mr Jacobs said.

“Our latest call for proposals, titled ‘Strengthening the Civil Society in Promoting Human Rights and Development in Fiji’, will be concluded within weeks and we will give additional support for a variety of projects,” he said.

Mr Jacobs said it was their firm belief that civil society had a pivotal role to play in democratic societies and it offered not only expertise and community level engagement but also a constant public input and an important consultative mechanism between the State and its citizens.

“While the State and its institutions carry the primary responsibility for development and democratic governance, effective synergies between states and civil society organisations can help overcome challenges of poverty, widening inequalities, social exclusion and unsustainable development,” he said.

“Civil society is important for the EU, not only in Fiji, but in all countries, including in Europe itself; in fact our strong engagement with civil society is nothing new, neither domestically nor internationally,” he said.

British High Commissioner Roderick Drummond advised civil societies that they would only fund projects but not financially support them for the long run.



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