Written by Guest Writer NGARA KATUKE
Cook Islands CICSO President
PIANGO cannot depend entirely on one funding agency to fulfil its purpose and work long term, says consultant Eckart Garbe from Hamburg, Germany.
“I think funding is not the same anymore; you need several funding agencies to survive in the CSO sector,” Mr Garbe said.
Mr Garbe was interviewed by guest writer Ngara Katuke from the Cooks Islands last week concerning funding for CSO/NGO organisations during the Pacific Sub-Regional conference on Civil Society Organisations Partnership on Development Effectiveness at the Trans International Hotel.
Over 40 participants attended the conference which include National Liaison Units members, development partners and other stakeholders hosted by the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO).
“When one funding agency stop their funding then you need other agencies to support you,” Mr Garbe said.
Mr. Garbe has been involved in the Pacific Islands since the early 1980s in Papua New Guinea as a representative from the government of Germany to the government of PNG at the Vocational and Technology level to the people of PNG.
He has since been involved in several positions with technical assistance agencies and has been recently doing consultancy work in PNG and the region.
Mr Garbe addressed the conference later last week in a panel discussion speaking on leadership with the vision of setting up a foundation called ‘future.pacific’
He said the decreasing of funding by the German government funding agency to support the Pacific region, was an unexpected issue and of course the small island states suffered from this scenario.
Mr Garbe commended the leadership by PIANGO executive director Emele Duituturaga and through a lot of correspondence was invited to take part in the conference.
“This is my first official invitation to attend a PIANGO conference, through many correspondence with Emele and had made visits to the PIANGO office in the past,” he said.
“I have seen Fiji few times in my many visits to the Pacific Region and this is where my interest is to provide my service to the people in the Pacific Region to where there is a potential need in growing and strengthening the regional body of the civil societies.”
He said any donor agency that funded any projects/programs needed to continue to benefit the people and would need to have a solid relationship with their CSO partner in the region.
“I have seen the economic and social impact in the Pacific Region and I am hoping that the regional body PIANGO will address these matters in a positive manner that will benefit our people in the region,” Mr Garbe said.