Belgian municipalities support counterparts in developing countries
Thursday, 19 November 2015
Various Belgian, Moroccan, and Senegalese town representatives met at the Molenbeek-Saint-Jean village hall to discuss a programme of “international municipal cooperation” on Wednesday evening. The programme seeks to fight poverty by strengthening institutions in countries south of the Mediterranean.
While a wake commemorating Paris attacks victims was taking place outdoors, the Molenbeek village hall hosted a press conference on the programme of international municipal cooperation (CIC) which is part of the Belgian Development Cooperation set up in Morocco, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin and Burkina Faso, on Wednesday evening.
In Brussels the programme is run by the Brussels-Capital city and suburbs association and 15 municipalities are involved. In Wallonia 22 groups are led by the Union of Walloon cities and local authorities (UVCW).
Local involvement brings the issues closer to each resident, and they deal with essential needs such as water, health, hygiene, and services. “One of the problems within the complex issue of poverty, is that people have unequal access to public assets and services, especially local services,” according to the press release.
In practical terms, local authorities will work together on projects such as setting up civil registry offices, or organising micro-credits aimed at supporting regional budgetary commitments.