State unable to find €90,000 in aid for Estonian Red Cross

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Thermal cameras at Port of Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Estonian Red Cross, which has lost approximately half of its income due to the coronavirus, applied to the Ministry of Social Affairs for a one-time grant of €90,000, but the state will not be supporting the organization, citing a lack of funds.

For years, the main sources of earning own income for the Estonian Red Cross have been the sale of first aid services and training, which has decreased by approximately 50 percent compared to 2019 due to the spread of COVID-19.

"We see that the same tendency, when neither contact training nor first aid can be provided at public events, continues. Therefore, we are concerned about the sustainability and development of the Estonian Red Cross," Harri Viik, president of the organization, said.

In the second half of November, the parliamentary groups of the Riigikogu distributed €6 million for regional support. As an independent organization, the Estonian Red Cross did not consider it possible to apply for support in this distribution of money.

The state support for the organization decreased by €500,000 already at the beginning of 2019, when the financing principles of the gambling tax changed. Therefore, the Estonian Red Cross wanted the government to support the activities of the organization once with €90,000.

According to the reply of the Ministry of Social Affairs, it is not possible in the current situation to offer additional one-time financial support in addition to the funds allocated to the Estonian Red Cross under the current strategic partnership agreement.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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