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Local NGOs wrap up EU-funded program to help needy groups.

Byline: Jinan Al-Habbal

Summary: Twenty-four local NGOs have concluded a European Union-funded program designed to boost civil society, primarily by reaching out to marginalized and needy groups. European officials and the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) were on hand Friday at a conference to mark the conclusion of the second stage of the AFKAR Program.

BEIRUT: Twenty-four local NGOs have concluded a European Union-funded program designed to boost civil society, primarily by reaching out to marginalized and needy groups. European officials and the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform (OMSAR) were on hand Friday at a conference to mark the conclusion of the second stage of the AFKAR Program. A total of 3 million euros in funding by the EU was distributed equally to the participating NGOs as part of AFKAR 2.

Emergences, a French non-profit organization, and the Belgian NGO INF provided technical assistance to the NGOs participating in the program.

Christian Jacques, the president of Emergences, EU Ambassador Patrick Laurent, Ibrahim Shamseddine, the minister of state for administrative reform, and Dirk Jarre, the vice president of the European Social Platform, were on hand for the ceremony, stressing AFKAR's contribution to Lebanese civil society.

Conference participants were shown a documentary film that outlined the work of the NGOs during the Afkar 2 project.

The EU's call for participation in AFKAR 2 saw 24 local NGOs selected u initiatives in seven project areas, focusing on boosting the rule of law, enhancing the professional integration of young people, and working against various types of discrimination, were carried out by the various NGOs.

Youmna Chacar Ghorayeb, the coordinator of AFKAR, called the program a success, as it met the established targets and objectives for supporting civil society in Lebanon and implement collaboration bet-ween the public sector and civil society.

Local NGO KAFA was involved in producing draft legislation to prevent family violence, while RESTART came up with a psychological and social program for the rehabilitation of prisoners, which also covered their family members.

Ghorayeb noted that organizers were preparing for AFKAR 3, with the help of civil society.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Jul 11, 2009
Words:370
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