Estonian Ukraine refugee aid efforts get more than $1 million boost from US

A housing center for internally displaced persons (IDP) that Mondo opened in Ukraine.
A housing center for internally displaced persons (IDP) that Mondo opened in Ukraine. Source: Mondo

Three Estonian NGOs – Mondo, the e-Governance Academy foundation (e-GA) and the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV (EHPV) – will be receiving grants totaling more than $1 million to help provide vital humanitarian assistance and services to Ukrainian refugees residing in Estonia, the U.S. Embassy in Estonia announced Friday.

The three awards will supply crucial medical services for some of the refugee community's most vulnerable members, as well as support the Ukrainian population's integration into Estonian society, the embassy said in a press release, noting that efforts by these NGOs are augmenting prior assistance provided via international organizations.

The U.S. 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 in Estonia, the Tallinn embassy said.

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

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

Mondo will be helping 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 as well as providing mental healthcare to vulnerable refugees.

With its own project, the e-Governance Academy (e-GA) will enhance Ukrainian refugees' digital skills and resilience through hands-on learning, helping Ukrainians living in Estonia 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 (EHPV), meanwhile, will provide targeted psychosocial support for the particularly vulnerable subset of Ukrainian refugees living with HIV. EHPV will provide consultations to refugees living with HIV, provide them with information about disease management and prevention as well as help refugees solve integration challenges, including housing, social benefits and navigating the Estonian education system.

The U.S. Embassy's call for project proposals for aiding Ukrainian refugees in Estonia yielded more than 30 applications, of which the top three were chosen to receive grants.

"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," the embassy said.

Over the past year, the U.S. Department of State has also provided funding totaling $1.25 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for Estonia-based programming, bringing the overall total for Estonia-based programming for Ukraine refugees to $2.31 million.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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