The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions.
“I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific communities to lead their own socio-economic recovery and rebuild plans and have them become the authors of their own solutions in response to COVID-19.
“The Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund is one of five investments that the Government approved in Budget 2020 so that the Ministry for Pacific Peoples can support more new initiatives identified by Pacific churches and community groups in their COVID-19 response, recovery and rebuild plans,” says Aupito William Sio.
The Fund has three categories to pilot and test a broad range of Pacific initiatives and solutions from grassroots, emerging to established organisations, including:
- Grassroots initiatives: which will fund up to $5,000 to groups who have a new idea;
- Acceleration initiatives: funding of up to $10,000 for groups who have already tested ideas and have shown some good results in their own community; and
- Lift-off initiatives: funding of up to $50,000 for groups who have already tested ideas and have shown some good results in their community, and are looking to collaborate with other community groups to improve or scale up an idea for the region, or across several regions or nationwide.
“It’s important this Fund not only supports strong Pacific initiatives that provide solutions to respond and recover from COVID-19, but that we are also working together towards achieving the vision and goals of Pacific peoples in the Pacific Aotearoa Lalanga Fou report. I want to see more Pacific peoples thriving, prosperous and resilient peoples of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
“When applications closed for the Fund, the Ministry for Pacific Peoples received over 500 applications of a total value of about $8 million sought by church groups, not-for-profits, charitable trusts, education facilities and social enterprises from around the country, far more than the allocated Fund of $2.95 million over two years.
“As a result, I’ve asked the Ministry to work with other government agencies who are providing community targeted funds to assess the oversubscribed applications for this fund as a pathway moving forward. These groups have put a lot of effort in ensuring their applications had substance and merit consideration for COVID-19 community responses.
“I’m keen to see the other applications find support where appropriate, as the Government is committed to paving a pathway of recovery, and prosperity for our Pacific communities,” says Aupito William Sio.
Over the next few weeks, agreements will be signed between the Ministry and successful applicants, who will then be able to implement their respective initiatives.