Jun 9, 2009, 7:19 AM
The signing ceremony was held Tuesday at the Ocean Bay Hotel, and the beneficiaries of the grants were ChildFund The Gambia, Concern Universal, the Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), Agency for Development of Women and Children (ADWAC) and Freedom From Hunger Campaign (FFHC).
Concern Universal signed for two grants, while each of the others signed for one grant.
The overall objective of the GCCA support project to The Gambia is to contribute to the capability of the government and people to adapt to climate change variability.
The signing of the grants took place along with a three-day training of the grantees or the beneficiaries on EDF/EU financial and administrative procedures.
In his welcome remarks, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Lamin Camara, said this was a clear manifestation of the Gambia-EU Cooperation’s readiness to support the government and people on the issue of climate change.
“European Union is one of the principal development partners of The Gambia,” DPS Camara said, adding that EU cooperation over the past four years has been growing steadily.
He added that a number of initiatives were undertaken under the cooperation, which had enhanced the socio-economic development of the country.
He assured the EU that the government would continue to welcome and work with them for the development of the country.
Mr Camara said the GCCA grants support project is out to contribute to the capability of the country to adapt to climate change variability.
To support the objective, five thematic areas were defined in the grants application guideline, which are: sustainable management of coastal sand resources, establishment of a coastal observer network, awareness building on climate change and coastal adaptation measures, sustainable livelihoods and resource in coastal communities, and enhancing sustainable waste management practices for improved social and environmental health of coastal communities.
In her statement, the executive director of the National Environment Agency (NEA), Ndey Sireng Bakurin, said global climate change is one of the important challenges to sustainable development that “we face as a region in the 21th century”.
The signing of the GCCA contract marked yet another milestone in the implementation of the GCCA project, she said.
She added that the grant development went through rigorous consultations processes with inputs from all stakeholders and beneficiaries.
The NEA director recalled that the pogramme’s grant window was launched in the first quarter of PE1 through the effective implementation of the grant funds.
She added that local level adaptive capacity to climate change would be strengthened in priority areas, including enhancing coastal ecosystem and livelihood resilience to climate change, awareness of coastal communities and partners on climate change.
The EU Chargee d’ Affairs, Agnes Guillaud, in her remarks said the grants were funded through the EU cooperation to the tune of 3.86 million Euro, which is being implemented by the Gambia government with the contracting authority, the NAO of the EDF grant recipients.
The Gambia is among 38 countries in eight regions currently implementing the Global Climate Change Alliance, she said.
She thanked the government for creating the opportunity for the EU to partner with them, and challenged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the grants provided.
The executive directors of the five beneficiary organizations, including the managing director of GRTS, Alhaji Kebba Dibba, commended the EU.
Mr Dibba expressed his appreciation on behalf of his management to the EU for their consideration of GRTS.
He assured the EU that the grant provided would be put into good use.