During the period of 2007 – 2011, the block grant “NGO Fund” of the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism has been implemented in Latvia.
The main task of the block grant “NGO Fund” has been to facilitate civil society engagement in order to reduce social and economic disparities. The amount of “NGO fund” was 10% of the total sum of the financial instruments for four years (from 2005 to 2009). The block grant “NGO Fund” has provided financial support in the areas of civil society, democracy, and institutional development in order to facilitate NGOs’ contribution to the national development. The block grant has been designed as a complex support for NGOs in Latvia in order to facilitate everyday activities and give an opportunity to implement projects in various financial instruments’ priority areas
Within the three measures, in total 133 projects are implemented to support the non-governmental sector:
Within the “NGO Activity Support Measure”, 42 active and experienced organizations in all regions of Latvia have received support for three years to facilitate democracy;
Within the “NGO Project Measure”, projects of 40 organizations have received funding to address issues that are actual and important for the society and correspond to the block grant priority areas (such as environmental protection, people with disabilities, youth, culture, groups of citizens subject to social exclusion risk, etc.)
Within the “NGO Capacity Strengthening Measure”, support has been given to 51 organizations that either were new or wanted to develop new areas of activity.
Within the entire block grant, in total 5 445 337,62 EUR have been allocated for financing NGOs. Out of this amount, 85 % have been in similar parts provided by the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism, and 15 % have been co-financed from the Latvian state budget.
The projects implemented within the block grant “NGO Fund” have covered various support fields of the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism. NGOs supported by the block grant have operated most actively in the field of human resource development, society integration and education (in total, 66 NGOs). 27 organizations have contributed in the field of sustainable development, 20 NGOs have supported and helped children with special needs, and 20 NGOs have participated in promoting regional policy and development of economical activities. Besides that, NGOs have operated also in such fields as health (17 NGOs), cross-border cooperation (14 NGOs), environmental protection (13 NGOs), European cultural heritage preservation (9 NGOs), academic research (6 NGOs) and law (four NGOs).