The large-scale EU-funded “Support to the Local Development in Belarus” project highlights its key achievements and evaluates impact it had on the development of local communities
Thousands of Belarusians got new opportunities for education, employment, quality social and health services in small towns and rural areas across Belarus with the financial support from the European Union and due to the successful cooperation between authorities, non-profit organizations, businesses and local communities.
Four years of the project’s implementation resulted in the establishing of an efficient and tight-knit network of various local actors, allowing local communities to plan, design and implement new development programmes and projects based on local needs.
The key project’s outcomes were presented and discussed at the Closing Conference that took place on 12 September in Minsk. Apart from the project’s implementations, national partners and the donor (European Union), the invent offered a place for local beneficiaries who proudly showcased the result of their grassroot initiatives, which made changes across social, economic and environmental fabrics of life of local communities.
In his welcome address to the participants of the Conference the Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Chervyakov, underlined that the project’s outcomes clearly demonstrated that effective solution of regional challenges can be reached when both, local authorities and communities are involved in the development process. “Empowering initiative and local decision-making to go from bottom to top lead helps reveal local potential, encourage collective responsibility and mobilize local resources,” said Alexander Chervyakov.
EUR 3.5 million of the European Union funding helped to support 243 local initiatives across Belarus teaching local communities to innovate and work together to make a difference to the lives in their home regions.
The results are truly impressive:
- 90 thousand people received opportunities for additional education;
- more than 180 thousand people can now use new infrastructure facilities and services to improve their health and embrace healthy lifestyle;
- the Belarusians got more than 130 new local employment opportunities;
- more than 350 thousand people can enjoy new tourism products and destinations, including opportunities from barrier-free travel;
- 60 thousand people across the country can already benefit from new social services.
“Funds from the European Union and support from the UNDP-led management team provided for the local communities helped people in the regions learn to come up with domestic solutions to local challenges and get practical knowledge and experience in accessing international technical assistance,” said Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus.
Andrea Victorin, the Head of the European Union Office in Belarus said that the European Union will continue provide financial support to local development in Belarus and mentioned a new large-scale programme with EUR 7 million EU funding focused on support to the development of small and medium-sized businesses in Belarussian regions.
The project “Support to the local development in the Republic of Belarus” aimed at creating conditions for combining efforts and fostering a partnership of authorities and local communities aimed at regional development and transformation. The project was funded by the European Union (budget EUR 5,919,975) and implemented by the United Nations Development Program in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.