An emergency alert system for big cities and securing the eastern border are among the projects allocated funding in the €700 million supplementary budget, Minister of Finance Keit Pentus-Rosimannus (Reform) said on Thursday. The budget has not yet been approved.
Speaking at a press conference, Pentus-Rosimannus said €30 million will be used to protect the population.
€4.5 million will be spent on installing an emergency notification system and sirens in 16 of Estonia's largest cities. €3.4 million will be allocated for stocks of items needed for evacuations, such as tents and generators. €7 million will be used to create additional rescue capacity. An additional €11 million will help to strengthen the eastern border.
"The size of the Estonian national defense plan is unprecedented in the history of the region: defense spending will reach 2.9 percent of GDP by 2024. This means that we are taking the domestic situation very seriously," she said.
Aside from defense, spending will increase on social welfare. The subsistence benefit, which 11,000 people receive, will be raised by €50 to €200. A one-off grant will also be given to vulnerable groups, such as families with children and pensioners.
Money from the budget will be allocated for Ukrainian refugee expenses, such as language learning and accommodation.
Editor: Helen Wright