Damascus, SANA – The Syria Trust for Development on Sunday signed an agreement with the Governorates of Damascus, Damascus Countryside, Sweida, Tartous, Lattakia, Homs, and Hama for the purpose of coordinating efforts to improve the social and economic situation of poor and impoverished groups in society.
This will be carried out by establishing interest-free loan funds at Governorates to launch medium, small, and micro projects via “My Project” program which was launched in 2011.
Deputy Prime Minister for Services Affairs, Local Administration Minister Omar Ghalawanji said this agreement seeks to ensure the success of “My Project” program which has been relaunched, and this will be done by increasing the number of people who benefit from it and targeted sectors, in addition to allowing new partners and financers to become involved.
Ghalawanji said this program has special significance in light of the crisis in Syria, as it seeks to improve citizens’ living conditions by empowering them and alleviate the effects of the crisis, noting that the Local Administration Ministry allocated SYP 15 million of its investment budget for 2016 for cooperation with the program.
He pointed out that given the circumstances of the crisis, small and micro projects are considered the basis for rebuilding local societies and achieving economic and social development.
In turn, Secretary General of the Syria Trust for Development Fares Kallas said the program seeks to develop poor areas and the ones that are considered the weakest economically in Syria by helping families start projects via interest-free loans, adding that displaced people who return to their homes will be the first to benefit from this program.
Kallas went on to explain that the program aims to allow citizens to make use of available resources and their environment and social surroundings, in addition to deepening the concept of social solidarity among people in their villages.
For his part, Damascus Countryside Governor Hussein Makhlouf said the program has already started work in 7 out of 11 administrative zones in the province, with 8 funds providing loans to 595 people initially then to 1,000, adding that the projects carried out via the program produced positive results, providing work for many people.
Meanwhile, Tartous Governor Safwan Abu Saadi said Tartous ranks first in implementing the program, with the work team establishing 83 funds in 5 out of 6 administrative zones with an overall capital of SYP 282 million.
As for Homs province, Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi said the program was launched in the province at the end of 2013, and is operating in 4 out of 6 zones and with a capital of SYP 64 million for 2015 distributed among 21 finds, with plans to increase the funds to 94 in 2016 and increase the capital by 300% to reach SYP 262 million, adding that 70% of the projects that were carried out were related to agriculture and livestock, with women making up 40% of beneficiaries.
In a similar statement, Hama Governor Ghassan Khalaf said the program benefitted 2,483 people in the province in 2015, and that 70 new funds were set up in 2016 in 4 out of 5 zones with a budget of SYP 289 million.
In turn, Lattakia Governor Ibrahim Khedr al-Salem said the project began work in the province in 2014, and in 2015 its overall capital reached SYP 95 million distributed among 43 funds in 4 zones, while the budget allocated for the program in 2016 is 267 million, adding that 55 more funds will be established as well.
As for Sweida Governor Atef al-Naddaf, he said the overall capital for funds in the province is SYP 411 million, 216 million of which is allocated for 2016, with 123 individual funds, 21 of which are new.
The meeting during which the agreement was signed included a review of the program’s achievements in 2015, the 2016 forecast, and its goals. The program targets 366 zones in 11 provinces and seeks to benefit 23,000 people, 40% of them women.
Back in 2015, the Local Administration Ministry and the Syrian Trust for Development
Signed an agreement o develop and expand “My Project” program over the course of five years.