US aids Estonian assistance efforts for Ukrainian refugees

  • 2023-11-03
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The US embassy in Estonia announced on Friday grant awards to three Estonian NGOs to help provide vital humanitarian assistance and services to Ukrainian refugees residing in Estonia, augmenting prior assistance provided via international organizations.

The three awards total more than one million dollars in US support and will supply crucial medical services for some of the refugee community’s most vulnerable members, as well as aid the Ukrainian population's integration into Estonian society.

Over the past year, the US Department of State has also provided funding totaling 1.25 million US dollars to the International Organization for Migration, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Health Organization for Estonia-based programming, bringing the overall total for Estonia-based programming for Ukrainian refugees to 2.31 million dollars. 

The United States recognizes the phenomenal magnanimity of the Estonian government and people in welcoming more Ukrainian refugees per capita than any other country in the world and wants to collaborate with local civil society organizations to help improve the lives of those seeking safe haven here.

"Since the start of Russia's wider war against Ukraine in February 2022, Estonians have been incredibly generous to Ukrainians fleeing the conflict," Ambassador George P. Kent remarked Friday while visiting the Estonian NGO Mondo, the recipient of the largest grant from the USg Government.

"The United States is proud to join Estonian efforts to help provide Ukrainian refugees with much needed services and assistance until the war is won," Kent added.

The three Estonian NGOs receiving grants from the US government are Mondo, the E-Governance Academy (e-GA), and the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV.

Mondo will help Estonia integrate thousands of Ukrainian refugees by training educational workers on inclusion practices, building connections between Estonian and Ukrainian youth, improving refugees' digital skills and employability, and providing mental healthcare to vulnerable refugees. 

A project of the E-Governance Academy (e-GA) will enhance the digital skills and resiliency of Ukrainian refugees through hands-on learning; helping Ukrainians living in Estonia to successfully integrate, learn about and use Estonian and Ukrainian digital solutions, and feel a sense of community.

The Estonian Network of People Living with HIV will provide targeted psychosocial support for a particularly vulnerable subset of Ukrainian refugees, those living with HIV.  The organization will provide consultations to refugees living with HIV, inform them about disease management and prevention, and help refugees solve integration challenges like housing, social benefits, and navigating the education system. 

The US embassy's call for project proposals to aid Ukrainian refugees in Estonia yielded over 30 applications, of which the top three were selected.  As this vital work continues, the embassy looks forward to partnering with other civil society organizations providing relief to refugees in Estonia, as well as working with the three organizations already chosen to highlight the important progress in their fields.