The province is supporting local governments by providing $5 million to help break the cycle of poverty.

The funding will go towards the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to develop various poverty reduction strategies.

Interested communities will be able to apply for funding to support local initiatives—with the goal of helping B.C. reduce its poverty rate by 25 per cent and its child poverty rate by 50 per cent by 2024.

“Local governments see the impacts of poverty in their communities from the front lines,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, in a news release.

“These grants are an opportunity for our government to work with municipalities and community organizations in identifying their most pressing local issues and developing local solutions in the fight against poverty.”

As part of TogetherBC, a local poverty reduction strategy, funding will go towards new projects that focus on housing, families, children, education, employment and social services.

The projects will be put in place by community-based poverty reduction groups and local Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have long advocated for a comprehensive approach to address the reality of poverty in B.C. communities,” said Coun. Murry Krause, UBCM past president, in a news release.

“This new funding program helps to advance TogetherBC’s priorities and will strengthen local coordination and implementation of poverty reduction plans.”

The Government of B.C. says the province has the second-highest overall poverty rate in Canada.

Applications for grants from the new poverty reduction program will be open until Feb. 28, 2020.