Mon-43 :: Mon-44 Poverty Reduction through Support for income-generation Activities / Startup Businesses
German, Swiss and Luxembourg governments
:: REALISATION / BUDGET
2006; Budget € 245.500,-
:: SHORT DESCRIPTION
The programme “Poverty Reduction through Support to Income-generating Activities/Start-up Businesses and Socio-economic Integration of Refugees and IDPs in Montenegro” started on 5 April 2005 with the signing of the project agreement with SDC in the amount of € 100.000. Subsequently further co-financing agreements for this programme were concluded with the German Foreign Ministry and with the State of the Netherlands, represented by the Minister for Development Cooperation, legally represented by the Dutch Ambassador in Belgrade in the same amounts.
Finally a separate agreement was signed on 19 October 2005 with Caritas Luxembourg in the amount of € 10.000 for an identical project focusing on the North of the country. This programme will be continued until December 2006 with a new infusion of € 170.000 by the German Foreign Ministry within the framework of the Stability Pact for South East Europe. In August 2006 the government of Luxembourg approved additional funds to continue with this type of interventions in five northern municipalities. Until the end of 2008 a total amount of € 150.000 will be available to support income generating activities and/or start-up businesses in Bijelo Polje, Berane, Andrijevica, Plav and Rozaje.
Reflecting the commitment to socio-economic integration of the vulnerable population, poverty reduction and economic development HELP has designed and implemented various programmes to support self-employment of displaced persons, refugees and able domicile poor. The specific objective of these programmes is to improve the living conditions of the said caseload. Through the intervention of the project (in-kind grants) the beneficiaries are able to start an economically viable activity and are thus able to sustain their livelihood without further humanitarian assistance.
Scope of Assistance
Between April and December 2005 158 refugees, internally displaced persons and socially vulnerable persons among the local population have benefited from these projects in the municipalities of Podgorica (27 beneficiaries), Cetinje (16 beneficiaries), Niksic (12 beneficiaries), Danilovgrad (10 beneficiary), Mojkovac (3 beneficiaries), Kolasin (7 beneficiaries), Berane (36 beneficiaries), Bijelo Polje (15 beneficiaries), Rozaje (17 beneficiaries), Plav (5 beneficiaries), Andrijevica (3 beneficiaries) and Herceg Novi (7 beneficiaries). HELP has provided the selected beneficiaries with the equipment/services required to start-up and/or expand their economic activities. The average value of material inputs was set at € 1.250. With the funds made available for 2006 another 150 persons can be supported in the same way. By August 2006 some 125 applications have been approved for assistance within the programme.
All material and financial inputs are being provided as grants, but HELP includes a strong ‘social repayment’ component. Beneficiaries are obliged to repay 15 % of the value of the grant in cash and to donate 10 hours of labour for communal works.
Communal works were defined in co-operation with local partners and municipality representatives. Community projects were implemented in Berane, Kolasin, Cetinje and Kujava (municipality of Danilovgrad) respectively. In Berane the building of the National Archives was renovated and in Kolasin a small mountain river was cleared which previously had threatened to flood a low lying settlement area. In Cetinje a playground for handicapped children was equipped and in Kujava HELP organized the upgrading of the local school yard and repairs of the school building. For the four community projects together € 22,104,- were spent from the cash repayment contributions.
The “Directorate for the Development Of Small And Medium-Sized Enterprises” has provided training inputs foreseen within the framework of this programme and continues to do so.
For more details please see also web entries under MON-36.