Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Aussie Aid offered for small projects

from w
This will be shared out between many different countries and projects but maybe some can go to Macuata projects:

from the Austaid website:

Enterprise Challenge Fund for the Pacific and South-East Asia (ECF)
We are now inviting applications for projects in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, eastern Indonesia, and southern Philippines. Applications close on 31 December 2007. The ECF will extend to Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Cambodia, Laos and East Timor in early 2008.

Australia will provide $20.5 million over six years to pilot an Enterprise Challenge Fund for the Pacific and South-East Asia.

Providing access to employment and markets is vital to generate a sustainable reduction in poverty. The White Paper: Australian Aid: Promoting Growth and Stability strongly emphasised the private sector as a driver of growth and it foreshadowed the development of a pilot program to support private sector led growth. The Enterprise Challenge Fund aims to stimulate growth and ensure that the poor are included in the benefits and opportunities provided by that growth.

In many countries in our region, innovative private sector projects fail to attract financial backing, not because of low returns, but because of weaknesses in financial markets and the 'public good' nature of some of their benefits. The private sector may be reluctant to undertake pro-poor projects because of perceived risks, lack of information or the high costs of creating new markets. The ECF will help to overcome these constraints.

Through open competition, grants of $100,000 to $1.5 million will be awarded to business projects with pro-poor outcomes and that cannot obtain financing from commercial sources. At least 50 per cent of the project costs must be met by the partner business, and all projects must be commercially self-sustaining within three years.

Initial research for the ECF in the Pacific and South East Asia indicates that potential projects are likely to relate to the extension of financial services, agricultural advisory services to poor people, and investments that create new or improved market linkages. These will lead to the creation of jobs and income-earning opportunities.

The success of individual projects will demonstrate to business and governments that pro-poor commercial opportunities exist in our region. By raising awareness of these opportunities and what may limit a firm from successfully pursuing them, the impact of the ECF can extend beyond individual projects to improving the business environment for all firms.

A Fund Manager will manage the ECF. They will be responsible for marketing and managing the Fund. Tenders for this position have closed. For more information please send an email to ecf@ausaid.gov.au

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