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Overview of the activities of the Estonian Refugee Council on November 7, 2023

  • On Thursday, November 9, Eesti Pagulasabi will organize an international humanitarian assistance conference in Tallinn. More information on the website, the broadcast can also be watched on ERC's YouTube channel and Facebook page
  • Estonian Refugee Council opened a representative office in Armenia and started a campaign to support refugees. 
  • In Ukraine, we offer support for surviving the winter to buy solid fuels such as coal, firewood, briquettes or pellets or to pay for gas bills to vulnerable households.
  • We are collecting grants for the purchase of a generator in Eastern Ukraine with the campaign "Give Spark".
Humanitarian Assistance Programme
  • We provide multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA), with which people can buy food, medicine, hygiene supplies and other basic necessities. As of now, we have given cash-based aid to more than a quarter of a million, or about 252,500 people, worth a total of about 46 million euros. Cash-based support per household member in one month is 3,600 UAH (about 92 euros). You can get help for a total of three months. A separate call center and application platform has been opened for applying for cash-based support in Ukraine: We are currently providing support in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. 
  • We offer winter survival financial support to purchase solid fuels such as coal, firewood, briquettes or pellets or to pay for gas heating bills to vulnerable households living in rural and suburban areas. You can apply for help in the same areas where we also offer general cash-based support. Throughout the winter season, households are entitled to receive heating aid of UAH 17,500 (EUR 450). From April to October, we provided food aid to more than 27,000 people in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. We are part of the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI), within which we help the humanitarian aid sector to keep a consistent overview of where and how the markets in Ukraine are functioning, whether and how fast the prices of basic commodities are rising, etc. Our area of responsibility is Zaporizhzhia, Kherson and Donetsk regions. 
Livelihoods & Economic Recovery Programme
  • We offer the opportunity to participate in an entrepreneurship programme for women in vulnerable situations, to gain new knowledge and earn a sustainable income. In 2023, we have trained 120 people and provided 41 business grants worth a total of USD 105,000 to beneficiaries in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kirovohrad, Kyiv, Poltava, Sumy, Kharkiv, Cherkassy and Chernihiv regions. Previous videos of small businesses created by women can be seen on the YouTube channel of ERC.
  • On October 8, the final event of the entrepreneurship programme conducted in cooperation between ERC and Garage48 took place, where the 16 best business ideas were selected. The best were awarded the opportunity to participate in a 6-month mentoring programme that also includes mental health support. The Empowering Women programme received the special prize "Inter-Community Learning of the Year" within this year's All-Estonian Adult Learner's Week (TÕN).
  • An entrepreneurship development programme is underway in Tartu and Jõhvi, during which 30 Ukrainian individuals or teams will receive support to start or continue their business in Estonia. On October 29, a cultural event was held in Ida-Virumaa for the participants and their families. At the end of the program, the jury will select the best 3, who will receive a 1,000-euro grant as a prize.
  • The trainings of the employability programme, which aimed to support and prepare the participants for entering the Estonian labor market, have ended. A total of 48 people participated in the program and it was held in Russian and English. During the following three months, the participants have the opportunity to use the help of mentors.
  • Currently, a programme is underway in Jordan to build small-scale greenhouses in the homes of beneficiaries so that they can grow food for their own consumption or use crops to increase their income. We install hydroponic water-saving planting systems in greenhouses according to the beneficiaries' previous experience and the growing conditions of their desired agricultural crops. Eleven of the eighteen greenhouses planned as part of the project have been erected to date, the remaining greenhouses will be completed by the end of the year.
Counselling Programme
  • We advise people on pre-registration in Tallinn (Vambola 6, Eesti Pagulasab office) every day between 10am and 5pm. The helpline +372 5881 1311 (open Mon-Fri from 10 am to 5 pm), e-mail is open to all refugees and institutions and people who help them. Viber, Whatsapp, Telegram channels are also open for counseling at +372 5464 0007
  • Monthly trainings supporting adaptation continue across Estonia on five topics: education system, entrepreneurship, legal issues in the example of Estonia and Ukraine, field of work and digital skills. To date, nearly 400 trainings have taken place. Counselling takes place all over Estonia, both in the form of contact education and online, and nearly 5,000 Ukrainian refugees have taken part in it. We focus on providing emergency accommodation to those Ukrainians who have suddenly lost their place of residence.
Mental Health and Psychological Support Programme
  • In the direction of mental health, we offer the MindSpring programme to refugees all over Estonia. The first groups started in March, and today there are nearly 20 groups in Keila, Haapsalu, Viljandi, Pärnu, Sillamäe, Tallinn and Tartu.
Community Programme
  • As part of the Community Programme, we organize regular group activities (women's and men's groups, adaptation clubs) and larger family events. This year, a total of 260 events/group activities have taken place, in which more than 4,000 people have participated, and there have been five summer camp exchanges for a total of 120 children and an autumn city camp for 20 young people. The community program is supported, among others, by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Advocacy & Protection Programme
  • The Advocacy and Protection Programme gave an overview of the fulfillment of the rights of refugee children in Estonia to the supplementary report of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We convened the next meeting of the Estonian Refugee Organizations Round Table, where Estonian Refugee Council, the Estonian Human Rights Center and the Johannes Mihkelson Center decided to send an appeal to the Ukrainian ambassador in Estonia regarding the fact that Ukrainian biometric passports are not available to refugees living here. We accepted the NGO Mondo as a new member of the round table.
  • In Georgia, this year we are helping to empower civil society and give more voice to refugees through community councils. Community councils are informal representative bodies of Georgian IDPs and Ukrainian refugees.


The activities of the Estonian Refugee Council are largely supported by institutional donors: the European Union (ECHO), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.

As individuals and companies, our activities can continue to be supported on our website.

NGO Estonian Refugee Council is a public interest non-profit organization founded in 2000, whose goal is to stand up for the rights and well-being of refugees in Estonia and abroad. ERC is a humanitarian assistance organization certified by the European Union.

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