Migration and Development NGOs are asked to submit proposals for fund

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

A third call for Proposals of the African Development Bank Migration and Development Fund (MDF) has been made.

This week Tunis, Tunisia, the AfDB reported that it is pleased to announce the 3rd call for proposals MDF and the award amounts will range from 350,000 EUR to 500,000 EUR per project.

A report read, “We invite not-for-profit organizations, such as migrant associations and NGOs working on migration and development related activities, as well as for profit entities such as financial institutions, money transfer operators, business development companies, etc. from West Africa to apply.

And The Migration and Development Fund under this call for proposals will finance new and innovative ways to reduce the costs of remittances in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) . Other countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region will be considered on a case by case basis.

Also, this call for proposals aims to strengthen and support the development of new and innovative financial products and services which reduce the high cost of money transfers by migrants and diversifies the supply of existing financial solutions to meet the expectations of both migrants and their families in the countries of origin.

Examples of projects are those that:

•          Provide support for the launching of innovative pilot transfer operations using Information and Communication Technologies such as mobile telephones, electronic banking and payment cards

•          Provide financial and/or institutional support for: (i) the launching of pilot remittance transfer operations involving MFIs; (ii) incentives for the regrouping of other complementary operators (telephony, banks, MFIs and local agents), and (iii) increased use of the banking system through the introduction of insurance (health, repatriation of remains, unemployment transfers), real estate and
savings enhancement products

•          Health cost sharing projects like health insurance schemes, mutualities or HMO’s (Health Maintenance Organizations)

•          Support novel approaches to improve access to banking services for migrants in their home and destination countries (e.g. non-resident bank accounts)

•          Non-bank financial products and services and collective investment schemes by migrant associations

All applicants are invited to submit their proposals online at http://www.fundsforafrica.org/mdf/apply/ by February 28th, 2013 at the latest.

The MDF is a joint initiative of the AfDB, the French Ministry of the Interior, Overseas, Local Authorities and Immigration, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Fund aims to promote and support local initiatives and those from the Diaspora aimed at improving knowledge of flows, reducing the costs of transfers, optimizing the use of the resources transferred, and supporting local development in migrant home countries. For more information visit http://www.fundsforafrica.org/mtf/

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