The meeting was held in the Municipality of Kocani on 9 of April 2014 and it was organized by the World Bank and supported by the Centre for Development of the Eastern Region. The meeting was opened by the Mayor of the Municipality of Kocani, Mr. Ratko Dimitrovski who welcomed the idea of involving of the users (beneficiaries) in the process and the distribution of funds envisaged.
The representative of the World Bank briefly present the project for rural infrastructure and initial ideas for implementation according to the existing procedure for implementing such projects PMU. In his presentation he noted that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia decided to transfer the funds from the IPARD program for 2013 for supporting the development of rural infrastructure. Budget that is available for this purpose is a total of 20,667 million euros of which 15.5 million IPA funds, while the remaining 5167 are co-financed by the national budget. The project has duration of 4 years and the projected funding’s of 100% grant for municipalities.
Funds will be awarded through the PMU, with the opening of a special program for development of rural infrastructure. Part of the criteria in relation to the implementation of this program is already established, and that is suitable for applications or end users in rural communities (58) and rural settlements within the urban communities (19), with priority to projects in rural areas. It was stressed that the purpose of the program is to fund infrastructure projects in the areas of: sewer , wastewater treatment , roads , water supply , municipal buildings , infrastructure related to tourism , infrastructure for the development of agriculture , etc. ( making urban plan is not acceptable ). The meeting was with the purpose to get feedback from the municipalities in terms of three very important questions such as: (1) Acceptable projects, (2) the selection criteria and (3) The process for submitting applications. In terms of the selection criteria as basic criteria was existing criteria of the National program for Rural Development.
It was said that in the process of applying, municipalities will be invited to submit their priority projects with an original design and formulation of specific needs for technical support. So, in this preparatory phase for utilizing this fund, the feedback from municipalities is very important to develop a model that will fully meet the needs of municipalities in terms of rural development.