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Community development initiatives are programs that designed to improve the quality of life for residents. In some instances, community development initiatives impact an entire nation but in other instances, such programs only affect people in a particular neighborhood or even a specific street. Many initiatives are operated and financed by government agencies but non-profit groups and business entities sometimes organize such ventures.
Some community development initiatives are designed to improve the living conditions of those living in poverty. Such programs may involve improving sanitation by drilling wells or establishing municipal water supply systems to ensure that residents that have access to clean drinking water. Development initiatives often begin in areas that have been affected by natural disasters such as droughts or flooding. These programs are often designed to restore normalcy to the affected area and also to improve general living conditions by replacing dilapidated or damaged buildings with stronger and safer structures. In areas that are impacted by droughts, development initiatives often entail showing local residents how to efficiently grow crops in arid conditions.
Municipal governments often implement community development initiatives in urban areas that are beset by social issues such as high unemployment and above average crime rates. Businesses are often given cash incentives to open plants and offices in economically deprived areas. When new businesses move to a particular area, unemployment often falls because there are more job opportunities for local residents. While neighborhood revitalization projects are usually funded with public money, some government agencies obtain additional funding from businesses that stand to benefit from redeveloping economically deprived areas.
Many development initiatives concentrate on providing affordable housing for low income families. In some nations, government agencies finance the construction of whole neighborhoods and then allow low income families to rent out the properties for minimal monthly payments. The United Kingdom and many other countries have housing programs that have resulted in the construction of new houses across the entire nation. In other countries, housing programs are funded by regional rather than national governments.
While many community development initiatives are aimed at improving living conditions for domestic residents, some national governments and many aid agencies are also focused on improving living standards overseas. As with domestic programs, foreign initiatives are usually focused on providing housing, clean water and sustainable food sources. Other programs are designed to improve literacy or to lower mortality rates by improving sanitation and equipping local doctors with the resources to provide basic medical treatment. Some national agencies allocate a certain amount of money to international projects on an annual basis and funds are often given to politically neutral international aid agencies that determine how the funds should be used.