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Overview of the Estonian Refugee Council's activities in April

  • In April 2024, ERC provided multi-purpose cash assistance to 8,600 conflict-affected individuals in front-line and hard-to-reach areas in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhia oblasts. 
  • In April, the Empowering Women entrepreneurship programme in Estonia was concluded, during which 15 teams received support to refine their business ideas. 
  • In Ukraine, we continued to support the 50 women-led businesses that participated in the Empowering Women group last year through mentoring and asset-based grants.
  • In Estonia, nearly 1000 people have already participated in our community activities this year. 
  • We presented our experience with the entrepreneurship program for women with refugee backgrounds at the International Knowledge Platform conference in the Netherlands.
  • In April, we collected over 13 000 euros in donations. Thank you!


We provide cash-based assistance, which allows people affected by war to purchase food, medicines, hygiene products, and other essentials. As of now, we have provided cash-based assistance to over 280 000 people, totaling more than 50 million euros. Cash assistance is provided for three months, with support of 3600 Ukrainian hryvnias per household member per month, equivalent to about 92 euros. Registration for assistance is carried out through Estonian Refugee Council's local registration points or via online application platform. Currently, our focus is on assisting those in need in frontline areas in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson, and Mykolaiv oblasts.
The programme is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) through the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund (UHF), and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Acted is the implementing partner for ECHO and BHA projects.

We offer vulnerable women in Cherkassy, Kirovohrad, and Poltava regions the opportunity to participate in the Empowering Women entrepreneurship programme and receive support for starting or developing sustainable and crisis-resilient micro-businesses. In April, we continued supporting the 50 women-led businesses that participated in the Empowering Women group last year through mentoring and asset-based grants. We are accepting candidates to the Empowering Women spring programme until May 13th. 

The Entrepreneurship Programme is supported by BHA/USAID, and implemented in partnership with Acted and Garage48.

As of the end of April, we have supported 67 individuals in the Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, and Poltava regions through the Emergency Livelihoods Programme. The support is intended to facilitate the start or continuation of economic activities, thereby improving people's self-reliance. Within this program, we support activities related to agriculture, animal husbandry, food production, or various service sectors. 

The programme is supported by BHA/USAID, with Acted as the lead partner.

We provide emergency livelihoods support to vulnerable households in Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Kharkiv oblasts. The support is intended for enhancing the livelihoods of vulnerable households through starting or resuming economic activities. Through this programme, we support activities related to agriculture, livestock farming, food production, and various other services in rural areas. The amount of the support is up to 33,000 Ukrainian hryvnias, or nearly 800 euros, depending on the field of activity. We have supported 283 households by the end of April. 

The programme is supported by DG ECHO and implemented in cooperation with Acted.

In the same areas we issue agricultural grants to vulnerable conflict-affected households, helping them meet their immediate basic agricultural needs for the upcoming winter and strengthen their self-reliance. 429 households have received support by the end of April. 

The programme is supported by OCHA/UHF.

We are part of the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI), through which we assist the humanitarian community in maintaining a consistent overview of market conditions and the price levels of essential goods in Ukraine. Through JMMI, we can better prepare our cash-based assistance programs and direct them to the areas where help is most needed. Our data collection scope covers Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Donetsk oblasts.


We conduct monthly adaptation support training sessions as part of our counselling programme. Recently, we added new topics to our training agenda, including healthcare and social systems, as well as adaptation for parents and pensioners. We continue with previously developed training sessions covering the education system, entrepreneurship, legal issues in the context of Estonia and Ukraine, the labour market, and digital skills. The training sessions take place across Estonia, both in face-to-face and online formats, and have been attended by over 5900 refugees so far. 

We provide counselling by appointment at the Estonian Refugee Council office (Vambola 6, Tallinn) every day from 10 am to 5 pm. An information hotline is open to all refugees, as well as institutions and individuals assisting them, at +372 5881 1311 (Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm), and via email at Additionally, counselling services are available on Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram at +372 5464 0007.

We assist refugees who have suddenly lost their accommodation in finding emergency shelter.

We conduct livelihood programmes to enhance the self-sufficiency of those affected by crises by supporting them in starting businesses and entering the labour market. 

On April 30th, the Empowering Women entrepreneurship programme concluded, providing mentors’ support and advice to the top 15 business ideas to start, sustain, and grow their businesses. The programme included nearly 80 hours of mentoring through both group and individual sessions, visits to a total of 13 female entrepreneurs, and the establishment of one MindSpring group for mental health support. Currently, we are preparing for the next round of the programme.

On April 17-18, we participated in the COA International Knowledge Platform 2024 conference in the Netherlands. The event centered on the integration of refugees into the labour market, focusing on the challenges and best practices in the field. In collaboration with a representative from Garage48, we shared our experience with the Empowering Women entrepreneurship programme and conducted an ideation workshop on the integration of refugee women into the labour market.

In May, we are launching a new employment programme aimed at job seekers with a refugee background who wish to enter the labour market or progress to more suitable positions. Registration for the programme opens in the second half of May, and we will commence the first training sessions in June. 

The employment programme is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region programme with support from the European Regional Development Fund.

As part of the Community Programme, we organise regular group activities and community events across Estonia. This year, nearly 1000 people have participated in the community program activities.

We launched Estonian Refugee Forum, an informal representative body for the beneficiaries of international protection, aimed at supporting people with refugee backgrounds in representing their communities and collectively addressing their concerns. The application period has now ended, and over the summer participants will undergo a training programme to start working together in the autumn. 

The Community programme activities are supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

We offer the MindSpring programme for refugees across Estonia, focusing on mental health. The first groups began in March 2023, and to date, over 30 groups have been established. A total of 245 individuals have participated in MindSpring groups in locations such as Keila, Haapsalu, Kohtla-Järve, Viljandi, Pärnu, Sillamäe, Türi, Rakvere, Tallinn, and Tartu. In January 2024, three new youth groups were launched.

The portrait exhibition titled "Voices from Crises: Stories of Displaced People" is showcased in the Kolme puu gallery in Telliskivi Creative City. The exhibition sheds light on the stories and experiences of people who have been forced to leave their home countries due to crises, and illuminates their journey towards new beginnings having found refuge in Estonia. 


In April we opened our on-site office in Tbilisi. We have been operating in Georgia since 2020 and registered our local office in December 2023. There are three employees working at the Tbilisi office. 

The second round of the Community Councils programme in Georgia was launched in April. This time around, the Community Council will be open to not only Georgian IDPs and Ukrainian refugees, but all refugees with diverse backgrounds.

The programme of Community Councils in Georgia is supported by ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development.


Last winter, we completed a cash-based assistance programme, reaching a total of 399 individuals. Our target group consisted of people aged 70+ living in the Shirak, Lori, Tavush, and Kotayk regions. 

The programme was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We are preparing for the launch of Community Councils and long-term livelihoods interventions to support the displaced population from Nagorno-Karabakh.


In Jordan, our livelihoods program focuses on vulnerable female-led households. So far, we have conducted training for 100 individuals and established 20 hydroponic greenhouses, allowing beneficiaries to grow food for their own consumption or enhance their income by selling produce. A total of 34 households benefit from these greenhouses, as some are shared among multiple households. We are continuing the program with the next phase, where we will develop our training centre and provide training for 40 individuals, with support for 12 to establish hydroponic greenhouses on their own land. Additionally, we will conduct hydroponics training for four female-led community organisations to increase knowledge of water-efficient agricultural methods in the entire region.

The activities of the Estonian Refugee Council in Jordan are supported by ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development. 

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