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The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) program is a small grants program that the Government of Canada operates in over one hundred developing countries around the world. Mongolia’s Canada Fund program was initiated in April 1997 after Mongolia’s addition to the eligibility list for Canadian development assistance. Canada’s Senate Speaker Gildas Molgat officially announced the start of Canadian aid to Mongolia when he visited Ulaanbaatar in March/April 1997. Ambassador Howard Balloch, on his visit to Mongolia in February 1998, signed an official Exchange of Letters with Mongolia’s External Relations Minister Altangerel, confirming the nature of development cooperation between Canada and Mongolia. The budget for the Mongolia CFLI in 1997/1998 was later set at $150,000. Since then the budget has grown from $150,000.00 to $800,000.00 CDN per annum. Since its inception, the Canada Fund in Mongolia has supported over 370 small-scale projects, predominantly in poor areas of rural Mongolia.  In Mongolia, the Canada Fund seeks to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged groups and communities, particularly those in rural areas. Day-to-day administration is taken by the Canada Fund Co-ordinator and the Canadian Mission (Canadian Embassy in Mongolia) remains responsible for all Canada Fund projects.