Non-governmental organisations in Jamaica and seven other Caribbean countries will be able to access grants of up to Can$100,000 to undertake various projects to assist vulnerable populations.
The support is being provided by the Government of Canada under the Local Engagement and Action Fund (LEAF).
It will assist registered not-for-profit entities with projects that relate to gender equality, human rights, the environment, climate change and biodiversity, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender-based violence, youth engagement, and strengthening organisational effectiveness.
Short-term projects (six to 12 months) will be able to access Can$20,000 to Can$50,000, provided that the organisation has been operating for at least two years, with limited or no experience.
In addition, Can$50,001 to Can$100,000 will be provided for long-term projects (12 to 24 months). These organisation must be operating for at least three years with a proven track record of implementing similar projects. For this category, audited financial statements are required.
An annual call for proposals will be issued over five years, 2023 to 2027 in Jamaica, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, Suriname, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Speaking at the local launch ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston today, High Commissioner of Canada to Jamaica, Emina Tudakovic, said that after more than 60 years of cooperation, “Canada is proud to continue to be a trusted partner in supporting Jamaica's development”.
She noted that Canada is “working more seriously” to change how it approaches development, with greater focus on localisation, which speaks to “shifting power and resources to local actors to drive their own development”.
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry, said that it is anticipated that LEAF will become a critical component of Jamaica's development agenda as it seeks to support vulnerable groups at the local level.
“These objectives directly align with goal one of Vision 2030…which states that Jamaicans are empowered to achieve their fullest potential,” Dr Henry said.
He pointed out that as Jamaica seeks to implement social programmes, “we are cognisant that the needs on the ground far outweigh the resources available”.
“The assistance provided under LEAF will strengthen the support given to organisations working with community residents from the most vulnerable groups such as at-risk youth and children, school dropouts, persons who are unemployed, victims of crime, survivors of domestic and family violence, the elderly, and persons with disabilities,” Dr Henry outlined.
LEAF Coordinator, Bridgette Barrett, informed that this year's call for proposals will begin on May 1 in Guyana and Suriname. This will be followed by Belize and Jamaica on June 5.
For all countries, respondents have 30 days in which to make their submissions to benefit from the funding.
In Jamaica and Belize, the grant will be awarded in September and for Guyana and Suriname, August.
The funds can be used to support accounting, administrative and overhead costs, purchase of equipment, technology and project-related supplies, advocacy and lobbying-related costs, civic education, among other things.
Eligible entities include civil society, non-governmental and community-based organisations; women's rights groups; benevolent societies; foundations; charitable groups; associations; public educational institutions; national organisations (departments and agencies); subnational entities (municipal councils, town councils, city councils); regional organisations; and federations and networks.
LEAF is a mechanism under the Field Support Services Project – Caribbean (FSSP-C), which is funded by Global Affairs Canada. Implementing partner is World University Service of Canada (WUSC).