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Overview of the Estonian Refugee Council's activities in May

  • We are helping job seekers with a refugee background enter the labour market or move to more suitable positions through a new employability programme in Estonia.
  • In Ukraine we have provided multi-purpose cash assistance to more than 284,000 people totaling over 51 million euros
  • In Georgia we continue to empower and support internally displaced people and refugees through community councils. 
  • In May, we raised 5325 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 284 000 people, totaling more than 51 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 Union, 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 EU and BHA projects.

We offer vulnerable women the opportunity to participate in entrepreneurship programmes and create or develop sustainable and crisis-resilient micro-businesses. To date, we have supported over 300 businesses through our entrepreneurship programme. Of these, 191 have received in-kind assistance, providing participants with the specific items they need to develop their businesses. In 2024, we have been supporting women in the Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, and Poltava regions.

The entrepreneurship programme is supported by USAID/BHA and implemented in partnership with Acted and Garage48. The programme has previously also been supported by OCHA/UHF.

As of the end of May, we have supported a total of 467 people in the Cherkasy, Kirovohrad, Poltava, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolaiv, and Kharkiv regions through the emergency livelihoods programme. The grants help people to initiate or sustain economic activities, thereby improving their self-sufficiency. We support activities related to agriculture, livestock farming, food production, and various other services in rural areas through this programme. The grants amount up to 33,000 Ukrainian hryvnias, or approximately 800 euros.
The programme is supported by the European Union, USAID/BHA, and implemented in cooperation with Acted Ukraine.

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 have launched a new employability programme. The Edge Up programme is aimed at job seekers with a refugee background who wish to enter the labour market or move to a more suitable position. Registration for the programme is now open.

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

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 6300 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. Our 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 help refugees who have suddenly lost their housing in finding emergency shelter.

We offer support person service to all beneficiaries of international protection and their family members in Estonia. Our support persons are assigned to those in need by local municipalities.
The support person service is funded by the European Union's Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Ministry of the Interior. 

As part of the Community Programme, we organise regular group activities and community events across Estonia. This year, nearly 1500 people have participated in our community activities.

We launched the 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 first meeting of the forum will be held in June, giving the participants an opportunity to get acquainted and take part in the first training focusing on advocacy and inclusion. 

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

We provide mental health support to refugees across Estonia through our MindSpring programme. The first groups were launched in March 2023, and to date, over 30 groups have been established. A total of 250 individuals have participated in MindSpring groups all over Estonia. 

We wrote an article for the Estonian youth work magazine Mihus, discussing how to support young people with refugee backgrounds.

On June 20th, we are hosting a community festival in celebration of World Refugee Day, to show support for people with refugee backgrounds. The family-friendly festival will take place at Telliskivi Creative City, offering a chance to explore various international cuisines, participate in cultural workshops, and enjoy musical performances. There will also be a children's and youth area open for all. The portrait exhibition introducing the stories of refugees living in Estonia titled "Voices from Crises: Stories of Displaced People" is still on display at the Three Tree Gallery in Telliskivi Creative City. 


In Georgia, we continue our community councils programme to empower civil society and amplify the voice of refugees and internally displaced people. The first community councils included Georgian IDPs and Ukrainian refugees. This year the programme welcomes participation from refugees of all backgrounds. In May we accepted applications for joining the new community council. 
The community councils programme in Georgia is supported by ESTDEV – Estonian Centre for International Development. 

This year, we are launching an emergency livelihoods programme in Georgia, supporting home-based economic activities. The programme aims to foster the long-term self-reliance of Ukrainian refugees in Georgia, helping them secure a sustainable income. 


We are preparing for the launch of a community councils programme in Armenia to empower and capacitate the refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh to effectively address the needs and challenges of their communities. 

Additionally we will focus on long-term livelihoods initiatives, helping people resume, recover or establish home-based economic activities. 


In Jordan, our focus is on vulnerable female-led households. So far, we have conducted training for 100 women and established 20 hydroponic greenhouses, allowing people 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 families. 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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