The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives provides small scale, one-time support for projects at the community level through local NGOs and other grassroots organizations such as village councils, cooperatives and women’s groups.
The program is consistent with Canada’s priority areas for development assistance: meeting basic human needs (water supply, sanitation, health care and education); promoting the participation of women in development especially as decision makers; improving infrastructure services; protecting and promoting human rights and good governance; supporting small business development (including through income support and skills development); and protecting the environment and promoting environmental awareness.
Emphasis in project selection is placed on people helping themselves, and the Canadian contribution, normally for equipment or machinery of long-term value, is a complement to the investment made by the recipient organizations themselves. The program is widely recognized as making a significant contribution to genuine development and capacity-building in the region.
The maximum contribution to any one project is $CAD 15,000 but the majority of projects are in the $CAD 5,000 to $CAD 12,000 range.
In the fiscal year 2010-20111, Canada invested $CAD 100,000 dollars in the following projects:
Tagua Production Project in Manabi Province: The tagua artisans association “Marfil Vegetal” of the Bajos de la Palma community in the province of Manabí was able to purchase additional safety equipment to facilitate the crafting of the Tagua Seed into artisan handicrafts.
Dairy Production Project in Azuay Province: The PROLAPAG artisans association that produces and processes dairy products was able to build a cheese ripening room and to purchase milk processing equipment that has enhanced the quality of their products. This association is based in the Paguancay community, Amaluza Parish, Sevilla de Oro region in the province of Azuay.
Grain Production Project in Canar Province: The artisan seed producers association “Mushuc Yuyay” received financial support to purchase additional processing equipment for Andean grains in the Izavieja community in the province of Canar.
Preserving Ecuadorian Culture via Income Generating Projects in Chimborazo: The Nizag community in the Povince of Chimborazo was able to improve their cafeteria services and cultural presentations at the train station “Nariz Del Diablo” thanks to support from CFLI.
Fruit and Fruit Syrup Production in Loja: The beekeeper association “San Pedro de Vilcabamba” of the Sacapo Community in the Province of Loja was able to purchase equipment to process their fruits and to produce fruit concentrates.
Cafeteria equipment at “El Boliche” train station: The food and soft drink sales association in Boliche benefitted from CFLI funding in order to purchase new cafeteria equipment at the train station. The rail side cafeterias provide opportunities for income generation in isolated communities by attracting more revenue from tourism.