The outbreak of the pandemic has caused significant disruption to the Thai economy, resulting in one of the most severe economic downturns ever faced in the history of the country. Although stimulus packages have been put in place by the Thai government to restructure the economy, the crisis has widespread repercussions on individuals.
The Covid-19 Social and Economic Response and Recovery project was developed in alignment with the World Health Organization’s “Covid-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan”, the United Nations Partnership Framework (2017-21) and the UNDP Country Programme for Thailand (2017-21).
Following a national call for grant submissions and a competitive process, a selection committee consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, Chiang Mai University, Prince of Songkla University and UN Women, awarded 24 non-governmental organisations and civic society organisations across Thailand. The grants amount to US$1 million and are funded by the Japanese government.
“To fight against Covid-19, Thailand and Japan are facing the same challenges in securing vaccines for our citizens, balancing between containing the pandemic and promoting economic recovery,” said Fumihiko Goto, counsellor and deputy permanent representative to ESCAP, Embassy of Japan in Bangkok. “Despite the common challenges we are facing, I am pleased and proud that we could start a new page of cooperation with our local partners in Thailand with help from our longstanding partner, the United Nations Development Program in Thailand.”
The 24 selected projects receive US$10,000 to $50,000 each and will need to be implemented between January to June 2021. Grant activities will target approximately 16,000 direct and 100,000 indirect beneficiaries across the country, will promote gender-sensitive economic empowerment interventions, improve access to basic services, ensure food security targeting the most vulnerable groups, including youth, people with disability, ethnic minorities, the LGBTI community, victims of gender-based violence, including low-income groups.
“Thanks to the generous contribution of Japan, the UNDP is able to further strengthen our contribution to Thailand’s response to the pandemic. These grants are empowering Thai civil society to provide assistance to vulnerable communities impacted by Covid-19 and address some of the acute socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. We are grateful to our government partners and other members of the selection committee for their collaboration at effectively ensuring no one is left behind in the country’s recovery,” said Renaud Meyer, resident representative of UNDP in Thailand.
Under this grant programme, activities implemented to support Thailand’s Covid-19 recovery include an employment programme through digital skills training for people with disability, community-led social protection services for sex workers, innovative sustainable highland agriculture system practices for stateless people, and career counselling for young social entrepreneurs.
Grants issued under this project will reach up to 100,000 vulnerable individuals to mitigate the pandemic’s socio-economic impact in different geographical areas throughout Thailand, contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, UNDP said.
Published : March 26, 2021
By : THE NATION