After an eight month hiatus the second Civil Society Support Program (CSSP II) resumed last Wednesday in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonene and British Secretary of State for International Development and Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt.
The UK, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway financed a grant worth 17 million Euros which will be in effect for the next three years.
“Civil societies are the school of democracy and good governance,” said Demeke. “The contribution of the CSSP I was crucial, to reducing poverty and advancing good governance.” The deputy prime minister also extended his gratitude to the people who worked hard to make both programs a success.
Penny Mordaunt added that the previous project was a life line for civil societies in Ethiopia as it provided 750 grants for 500 charitable organizations. She expressed her excitement about the next phase of the project during this transitional period in Ethiopia.
“I would particularly commend the move to revise the Charities and Societies Proclamation,” she said. “I believe a more open legislative environment will enable charities to work more freely as unreasonable regulatory burdens will be reduced.”
The Oromia Region Women’s Association was on organization being supported by CSSP I and will be helped significantly when the new phase begins.
The first phase lasted six years and helped civil societies working in women’s education, substance abuse, mental health and prison reform build their capacity. It was funded with 35 million Euros and affected three million lives from 2011-2016.