Of the 28 cooperation and global solidarity projects proposed in 2014, the Namur province supported 17 of them to the tune of 75,000 euros, announced Namur deputy Jean-Marc Van Espen during a Tuesday-morning press conference on calls for projects. “We wanted to break with the events which took place under previous legislation, by opening the appeal to other interested parties and other countries. In the past this support was focused almost exclusively on the non-profit organisation Soutien aux Pays de la Francophonie (which provides financial aid to French-speaking countries) and Senegal which remains, after all, an important partner,” explained Jean-Marc van Espen.
The projects, in areas such as health, farming and training, took place in Senegal (6), DRC (3), Burkina Faso (2), Morocco (2), Burundi (1), au Benin (1) and in the province of Namur (2) for public awareness. The beneficiaries were municipalities, associations and places of secondary, higher or university education.
The Namur province contributes a maximum of 50% of the project budget (limited to 5,000 euros) which is paid in two instalments (70% before the operation and 30% afterwards). “Some critics talk of spreading funds too thinly. However, in Africa, this represents a large, even phenomenal, amount of money. Moreover, our €75,000 donation is in fact used towards a total project budget of €233,000. It is this sum which is available to interested parties on the ground,” added Mr. Van Espen.