UNESCO Programme Grants Funding to 51 New Media Projects in Developing Countries
The Bureau of UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) granted US$1,050,000 million to 51 media projects in developing countries and countries in transition at its meeting at Headquarters, (March 7 - 9), which was chaired by Torben Krogh from Denmark.
Projects that received financial assistance from the IPDC include broadcast, print and electronic media, as well as training programmes. Among them, is a US$500,000 project approved for funds in trust arrangements to enable radio broadcasters in the Indonesian province of Aceh to resume their operations. Radio infrastructure was severely damaged in the province, more than half of it was wiped out, by last December's tsunami. The IPDC granted initial seed money to help launch the project, which is vital for relief and reconstruction operations in Aceh.
Financial assistance was also extended to six projects in small Caribbean islands, including the creation of community multimedia centres in Haiti and Grenada, which received US$25,000 and US$ 20,000 respectively.
US$ 319,000 were channelled to 13 projects in Africa, among them a regional project to create a television post-production centre in Mauritius to serve French-speaking countries in East Africa (Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda and Seychelles). The project was granted US$ 50,000.
Three Palestinian projects figure among those that were granted funding in the Arab states: US$20,000 were granted for training courses for media workers in Hebron; US$ 25,000 for the creation of a studio for children's programmes at the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation; and US$ 16,000 to establish a literary audio library to serve for radio broadcasts, general educational programmes and to provide access to literature to the blind.
Proposals this year concerned a total of 112 projects, submitted by media organizations in 62 developing countries and 26 regional media organizations.
The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system to promote media development in developing countries. It provides funding from voluntary contributions by donor countries while working to secure a better environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.
The IPDC consists of an Intergovernmental Council of 39 Member States elected by UNESCO's General Conference and of a Bureau of eight Member States nominated by the Council. The Bureau meets annually to appraise, select and allocate funding for media projects. The Council meets every two years. Last year the IPDC channelled US$1,840,000 to 66 projects and since its creation in 1980 the Programme has supported over 1,000 projects in 137 countries.
(Source : UNESCO Press Release No.2005-29)
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