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George Georghiou, Head of the Ministry of Planning and Ambassador Ingrid Schulerud from Norway sign the agreement in Nikosia 12 December. 
Photo: Christian Grotnes Halvorsen, UD.George Georghiou, Head of the Ministry of Planning and Ambassador Ingrid Schulerud from Norway sign the agreement in Nikosia 12 December. Photo: Christian Grotnes Halvorsen, UD

Cyprus agreements to strenghten bi-communal dialogue

Last updated: 14/12/2011 // The EEA and Norway Grants are helping to facilitate dialogue between the two communities on the divided island of Cyprus. A large proportion of the funds provided in the period up to 2014 are earmarked for civil society support. The Memoranda of Understanding were signed in Nicosia 12 December.

"The physical division of the island is hardly conducive to fostering dialogue and understanding between the two communities. Through the EEA and Norway Grants, we will continue efforts to forge contacts between north and south at grass-roots level. Such dialogue could help Cyprus to find a solution to this protracted conflict in the long term", said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

Cyprus will receive €7.85 million through the EEA and Norway Grants in the period up to 2014. About 25 percent of this amount is earmarked for civil society support, including a Fund for Non-Governmental Organisations which will give priority to projects involving both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities.

A home for cooperation
Funding will continue to be given to the Home for Cooperation. This centre, which was established with EEA and Norway Grants support during the previous funding period, is located in the UN-controlled buffer zone in the capital, Nicosia.

The centre is a unique meeting place for the two communities and offers a number of activities, such as exhibitions, research and education, as well as office space for NGOs from both sides. In the new round of EEA and Norway Grants, the centre will receive funding for a project designed to initiate a dialogue on a syllabus for teaching history in the north and the south.

Funds have also been earmarked for the establishment of a new crisis centre and shelter for abused women and children. The project will be run by The Association for the Prevention and Handling of Violence in the Family (SPAVO) in cooperation with the Norwegian Crisis Centre Secretariat.

Funding is being provided to upgrade the Cyprus Bone Marrow Donor Registry, to intensify efforts to combat money laundering, and for measures to conserve the biological diversity of the Troodos National Park.

"The Home for Cooperation" was established with EEA and Norway Grants support during the previous funding period. The centre is located in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia and is a unique meeting place for the two communities. Photo: Financial Mechanism Office

About the support
Through the EEA Grants and Norway Grants, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway contribute to reducing social and economic disparities in Europe and to strengthening bilateral relations with the beneficiary states. For the period 2009-14, the EEA Grants and Norway Grants amount to €1.79 billion. Norway contributes around 97 percent of the total funding.

More about the EEA and Norway Grants in Cyprus.
The EEA and Norway Grants Status Report 2011


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