LOME , January 28, 2009 -- The World Bank Office in Togo recently launched its annual support program for civil society for 2009, known as the Civil Society Support Fund (FASC).
Established in 1983 to support the small-scale initiatives of civil society organizations and associations, the primary objective of the Civil Society Support Fund (FASC), formerly known as the “Micro-Subsidies Program,” is to promote the civic engagement of citizens in the recipient countries. This Fund allowed the World Bankto help promote, in addition to its own operations, dialogue and the dissemination of information within civil society on development issues that are important to the people.
The Civil Society Support Fund is thus an integral part of the World Bank’s social development agenda, providing grants (micro-subsidies) to civil society organizations, not only to support general initiatives, but also to strengthen vulnerable and marginalized groups. The FASC therefore enables all parties to participate in the development process and helps to make the latter much more inclusive and equitable. By involving citizens in the management of public affairs, and by building their capacities to influence decision making, the FASC facilitates ownership of development initiatives by the beneficiaries.
Togo has been participating in the FASC since 1998 and has already received a total of approximately US$317,000, which was used to finance small-scale projects prepared and executed by local NGOs and associations.
The amount allocated to Togo for 2009 stands at US$30,000 (approximately CFAF 15 million). This sum will help to support proposals that will be selected and will pertain to activities targeting citizen participation in development activities, with a view to alleviating poverty. Particular attention will be accorded to, inter alia, proposals that are innovative and reproducible, and focus on youth, environmental protection, the participation of women in development, and the promotion of good governance.
“The Civil Society Support Fund is consistent with the World Bank’s Interim Strategy Note and is equally important to the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy,” said Mr. Joseph Baah-Dwomoh, the World Bank’s Country Manager for Togo. “ Both documents focus on the mobilization of civil society to promote its participation in the development of Togo. We are pleased that, yet again, this year the World Bank has been able to marshal resources to continue to pursue efforts, along with the Government and other partners, aimed at achieving this important objective.”