Learn more about International Assistance and how to request it

  • 4 October 2021
The way to the field with the ritual bread 'Karahod'
The way to the field with the ritual bread 'Karahod'
© Belausau, 2012

International Assistance (IA) is at the very core of the 2003 Convention as it enables an effective and sustainable way of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. State parties are encouraged to request IA to fully benefit from what the 2003 Convention has to offer to their local communities. Since 2008, the IA has funded 66 projects in 39 States Parties across all regions, and over a half have been implemented in Africa.

The IA mechanism provides dedicated resources for State Parties to implement a wide range of projects such as programmes, projects and activities dedicated to safeguarding ICH, community-based inventorying, awareness-raising, specific knowledge on safeguarding ICH in emergencies, training of local experts and infrastructures development, to name a few.

For example, an awareness raising project in Kyrgyzstan focusing on safeguarding ICH related to sacred sites was able to highlight the importance and value of ICH and its safeguarding for younger generations. In Colombia, a project built on intangible cultural heritage as a basis for resilience and reconciliation following armed conflicts. In Morocco, women’s economic autonomy in oasis and mountain areas are developed through a tailored safeguarding project of local living heritage. While in Uganda, an IA project is operationalized to promote the inscription of ICH in the curriculum of higher education institutions.

Recent figures show that despite its undisputable success on the field, the International Assistance mechanism has not yet been utilized to its full extent. In order to encourage state parties to request international assistance, the 2003 Convention Secretariat provides technical assistance for application. Furthermore, application forms and further instructions are available online and former IA requests approved by the Bureau are also listed online. Since 2016, international assistance is available at any time for requests up to US$ 100,000. Last but not least, a dedicated team is reachable via email.

Don’t hesitate to get involved in safeguarding your living heritage through the International Assistance mechanism.