Aswatona Fund for Media Development launches second call for grant proposals

The Aswatona Fund for Media Development, a 1.5m Euro multi-partner regional funding initiative to enhance independent media in the Maghreb and the Mashreq, has launched its second call for grant proposals in support of community media development.

The fund, which is supported by the European Union, aims to support pluralism in the media, particularly through community radio, and to strengthen the voices of women, youth and remote communities and marginalized groups. In the first funding round, 48 civil society organisations received support in Jordan (2), Syria (3), the Occuppied Palestinan Territories (5), Egypt (8), Lebanon (1), Tunisia (5), Algeria (2) and Morocco (24).

The Aswatona Fund offers grants for five types of action: exchanges of experience and good practice; audience development and sustainability; cultural and social action media; promotion of media policy dialogue; and network development and solidarity.

The Aswatona Fund for Media Development is a partnership project of Community Media Solutions (UK), Community Media Network (Jordan), Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies (Egypt), Holy Land Trust (Palestine), Forum Alternatives du Maroc and the Syndicat Tunisien des Radios Libres, in association with World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).

Daoud Kuttab director general of Community Media Network said: “This fund is providing modest assistance to support local initiatives which aim to offer a free and independent platform for community voices. In the face of restrictions and persecution of different views in many countries of the region, we are pleased to be responding to the need for practical support and economic assistance.”

Organisations supported by the Aswatona Fund will be locally-based, independent media and civil society organisations, plus key stakeholders in community media development including professional associations, universities and training organisations.

The Fund is not open to individual applications. Organisations eligible to apply to the Fund must be legally registered entities, not run for profit, not affiliated with any political party or religious organisation, and primarily working in one or more of the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria or Tunisia.

The Aswatona Fund is part of the European Union funded programme “Media and culture for development” which supports the efforts of the Southern Mediterranean countries’ in building deep-rooted democracy and to contribute to their sustainable economic, social and human development, through regional co-operation in the fields of media and culture.

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