Estonia will allocate €351,700 for ongoing humanitarian aid projects in eastern Ukraine to help people living near the front line and to prepare for potential migration.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) said the eight-year armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis that continues to need international attention and support.
"The conflict has affected the lives of nearly five million people and more than three million of them need humanitarian aid – lack of medical assistance and public utilities, such as electricity, water and heating, continues to cause problems. People who have been living under a threat for years also need emotional support. The current complicated security situation makes all these problems worse and this is why we have decided to provide additional humanitarian aid to Ukraine to ease the suffering of people living near the front," Liimets said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is allocating €190,000 for additional assistance to vulnerable households and elderly people near the line of contact.
The support is aimed at helping residents cope during the winter, for example, to help buy firewood, basic necessities, warm blankets or clothes. The deteriorating economic environment may call for individual assistance: food, sanitary items, and medical and psychosocial assistance to residents of frontline villages.
Some of the activities will be carried out by Estonian NGOs Mondo and the Estonian Refugee Council who have been active in the area since 2014.
They will cooperate with local governments, social service workers and partners in Ukraine who have the best insight into the needs of local residents and know which families are in the most urgent need of help.
The Estonian Red Cross will give €30,000 via the Ukrainian Red Cross societies, offering material and psychosocial assistance to the emotionally exhausted residents of the conflict zone.
The International Committee of the Red Cross will give €100,000 through the local Red Cross societies to provide medical assistance near the line of contact where the impact of fighting is most felt.
Estonia is also providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine to help prepare for potential migration, answering Ukraine's call with other European Union states.
In February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Estonian Rescue Board are sending equipment worth €161,700 to the Ukrainian Border Guard.
The shipment contains six tents for ten people each with sleeping bags, folding beds, tent heaters, diesel generators and other equipment to offer temporary shelter.
The aim of the donation is to increase Ukraine's readiness in case of a potential emergency.
Editor: Helen Wright