In 2022, the Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG), a joint initiative of the EU and UNDP, had to pivot to support the new crisis realities of members in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. In close cooperation and with support from the EU, the M4EG launched a new programme to support the immediate needs and longer-term ambitions of members to rethink their local economic development. On 27 October, the EU and UNDP launched the “M4EG EU Response and Renewal Grant Programme“.
A total of 183 local authorities from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine submitted proposals under the open call that lasted from 27 October to 23 December 2022. The Response and Renewal Programme intends to provide support for local initiatives among members in Moldova and Ukraine struggling with the negative impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The programme provides support under two lots: Lot 1: immediate response and recovery, and Lot 2: renewal and anticipation.
In the Republic of Moldova, a total of 30 proposals (11 for lot 1 and 19 for lot 2) were submitted from 25 partner municipalities. The total requested budget of the local initiatives in the Republic of Moldova under both lots accounted for EUR 4,2 million, while requested support from the UNDP is EUR 2,2 million and the envisaged co-financing from local partners is EUR 2 million.
In total, 153 (92 for lot 1 and 61 for lot 2) proposals from 101 partner municipalities representing 22 oblasts in Ukraine submitted their applications. The total requested budget for the local initiatives in Ukraine under both lots is EUR 10.8 million, while the requested support from UNDP is EUR 8.9 million. The envisaged co-financing from local partners totals EUR 1.8 million.
The proposed initiatives under lot 1: response and immediate recovery include repair of basic infrastructure, equipment of public facilities for public services provision, measures for quick integration of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees into the host communities, various solutions for resolving the issues with electricity supply, and other. Under lot 2: renewal and anticipation, the suggested local initiatives include forward-looking actions, e.g., establishing local centres for the long-term integration of IDPs and refugees, transforming public spaces and industrial areas, and supporting sustainable business development.
The submitted proposals are under review and the announcement of selected initiatives is planned for March 2023. The selected local authorities will be supported with targeted support on the various aspects of their initiative’s implementation. In parallel, a series of learning activities will be implemented to strengthen their awareness of the progressive practices in municipal development based on the Agora approach. Implementation will start in late spring 2023, and a community of practice support for peer-to-peer learning during implementation will be offered to the implementing local authorities.