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Portugal launches new funding initiative to combat poverty and unemployment and support disadvantaged groups on the ground

Portugal has launched the next funding phase for its ‘Local Social Development Agreements’ (CLDS+) which will release €10 million for the fight against poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. Based on an earlier pilot scheme, CLDS+ will fund small scale projects to improve people’s employability, including that of young people; help avoid poverty, in particular among children; and promote the social inclusion of people with disabilities.

Under the CLDS+ scheme, local authorities and social NGOs can apply for grants to target help to specific disadvantaged groups. Launching the CLDS+ scheme, government Minister Pedro Mota Soares said, “"It's very important to give stability to these social institutions, with a new generation of local contracts for social development above all focused on regions of the country that have higher unemployment problems”. Some 80 contracts are expected to be launched under the scheme which is co-funded by the ESF.