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Overview of the Estonian Refugee Council's activities in March

  • We opened a portrait exhibition titled "Voices from Crises: Stories of Displaced People" on Monday, April 15th at Kolme puu gallery in Telliskivi Creative City.
  • We opened an Estonian Refugee Council office in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
  • We continue to provide financial assistance in Ukraine and have supported over 260,000 people so far. 
  • As of the end of March, we have supported 151 households in war-affected areas of Ukraine with emergency livelihood assistance and assisted 300 households with agricultural support.
  • In Estonia, we are launching the Estonian Refugee Forum, an informal representative body for international protection beneficiaries, aimed at supporting people with refugee backgrounds in representing their communities and collectively addressing concerns. Applications are open!
  • In March, we collected over 10,000 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 260 000 people, totaling approximately 49 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 the 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 implemented a housing rehabilitation programme in Ukraine, where we supported minor repairs to homes affected by war. The assistance provided per housing unit is up to 1500 euros. We have supported the restoration of 202 households in war-torn frontline areas in the Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kherson oblasts. The housing rehabilitation 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 programmes and direct them to the areas where help is most needed. Our data collection scope covers the Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and Donetsk oblasts.

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. Participants in the Empowering Women Ukraine 2023-2024 programme receive their assets and mentoring support. In March, the open call for Empowering Women Ukraine Spring 2024 for new and existing businesses was ongoing. The entrepreneurship programme is financed by BHA/USAID and implemented in cooperation with Acted and Garage48.

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 151 households by the end of March. 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. 300 households have received support by the end of March. The programme is supported by OCHA/UHF.


We opened a portrait exhibition titled "Voices from Crises: Stories of Displaced People" on Monday, April 15th at Kolme puu gallery in Telliskivi Creative City. The exhibition focuses on the stories of people who have been forced to leave their homelands due to crises and have arrived in Estonia. The exhibition highlights their experiences of displacement and the new beginnings found here. The exhibition will feature portrait photographs by Keiu Virro.

As part of the counseling programme, monthly adaptation support trainings continue on five topics: the education system, entrepreneurship, legal issues in the context of Estonia and Ukraine, employment, and digital skills. The counseling sessions take place across Estonia, both in-person and online, and have been attended by over 5700 refugees so far.

We provide counseling 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, counseling 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 job market. We have initiated the implementation of a youth and elderly employment programme, which provides participants with internships. Together with Garage48, we are preparing a new entrepreneurship programme and developing a new employment programme that would enable graduates to start working in partner companies.

As part of the Community Program, we organize regular group activities and community events across Estonia. This year, nearly 700 people have participated in the community programme activities.

We are launching the Estonian Refugee Forum, an informal representative body for international protection beneficiaries, aimed at supporting people with refugee backgrounds in representing their communities and collectively addressing concerns. For this purpose, a competition is underway to find international protection beneficiaries across Estonia who wish to take an active role in advocating for their community's interests. Applications are open until April 24th. The community programme activities are supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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 235 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 groups targeted at youth were relaunched.


We opened our physical office in Tbilisi. We have been operating in Georgia since 2020, and have now registered our local office in December 2023.

In Georgia, this year we continue 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 programme of community councils in Georgia is supported by ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development.


We completed our cash-based aid programme in Armenia, reaching a total of 399 refugees who had fled from Nagorno-Karabakh. Our aid was targeted at people in a vulnerable condition aged 70+ in Shirak, Lori, Tavush and Kotayk areas. The programme was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2024, our plans include initiating community councils in Armenia and implementing long-term interventions to support the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals.


In Jordan, our Livelihoods programme 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 center 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. 

You can support the activities of the Estonian Refugee Council on our website.

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