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Overview of Estonian Refugee Council's activities on October 2, 2023

  • For Armenia! - a donation campaign to support those who fled Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Inside Ukraine, we have already given cash-based aid to about a quarter of a million people
  • From the first of October, the cash-based support in Ukraine increased to 3,600 hryvnias per month
  • Counselling with pre-registration in Tallinn (Vambola 6, Eesti Pagulasab office) is open every day between 10:00 and 17:00
Humanitarian Assistance Programme
  • We provide multi-purpose cash assistance, with which people can buy food, medicine, hygiene supplies and other basic necessities. As of now, we have given cash-based aid to about a quarter of a million, or about 250,000 people, worth a total of about 45 million euros. NB! From the first of October, the cash-based support increased from UAH 2,220 (= about EUR 61) per household member to UAH 3,600 (about EUR 92) per month. It is a joint agreement of international organizations and donors regarding the general increase of prices and services for the residents of Ukraine. 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 currently provide support in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. 
  • From April to the beginning of August, we provided food aid to over 24,000 people in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Zaporizhia regions. From September, Kherson was added to the assisted regions. 
  • We are part of the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI), within which we help the humanitarian aid sector to keep a constant overview of where and how the markets are functioning in Ukraine, whether and how fast the prices of basic commodities are rising, etc. Our area of responsibility is Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv Oblasts.
Livelihoods and Economic Recovery Programme
  • The entrepreneurship programme created in cooperation with ERC and Garage48 has started. 50 business ideas participate in the programme, and at the end of the programme, the jury will select 15 of the best, who will be awarded a 6-month mentoring programme. 
  • The business development programme has started in Tartu and Jõhvi, during which 30 Ukrainian individuals or teams will receive support to start or continue their business in Estonia. At the end of the programme, the jury will select the best 3, who will receive a 1000 euro grant as a prize.
  • In Jordan, ERC has eight hydroponic greenhouses where strawberries, peas, herbs and others are grown in a water-efficient way, which both provide work and ensure food security for vulnerable locals and Syrian refugees. At the moment, a programme is underway in Jordan, within the framework of which small-scale greenhouses are built in the homes of the beneficiaries, as a result of which the beneficiaries can grow food for their own consumption, or value it and sell it in the community. At the moment, 11 greenhouses have been built, but there will be a total of 18 of them. At the moment, internal work is underway in the greenhouses to establish water-saving planting systems.
Counselling Programme
  • The trainings have started in the Labour Market Programme, the purpose of which is to support and prepare the participants for an active job search in the Estonian labor market. A total of 50 people participate in the programme and it is held in Russian and English. 
  • We advise people to pre-register in Tallinn (Vambola 6, Eesti Pagulasab office) every day between 10 am and 5 pm. The helpline +372 5881 1311 (open Mon-Fri from 10 am to 5 pm), e-mail is open to Ukrainian refugees and people helping them. Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram channels are also open for counseling at +372 5464 0007
  • We started with an updated programme of trainings supporting adaptation. We organize trainings across Estonia on five topics: education system, entrepreneurship, legal issues on the example of Estonia and Ukraine, field of work and digital skills. To date, 237 digital skills workshops and 76 work-related trainings have taken place. In addition, 13 education-related, 13 legal counseling and 16 business-related trainings. Counselling takes place all over Estonia, both in the form of contact education and online, and nearly 4,150 Ukrainian refugees have taken part in them. 
  • The international protection adaptation programme has now ended. 2,889 people completed this programme. 
  • We provide accommodation from our database. Due to the shortage of accommodation places, we currently do not provide long-term accommodation in public accommodation facilities managed by the Social Insurance Board. We focus on providing emergency accommodation to those Ukrainians who have suddenly lost their place of residence. We collect accommodation offers from private individuals (primarily in Tallinn, Tartu and other major cities), offers can be entered via the form on the website. 
  • The most important information for refugees is at the top of our website in the menu "what we do" and "get support". We continuously update the information in the section in Estonian, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
Mental Health Programme
  • In the direction of mental health, last year, in cooperation with the NGO Peaasjad, we brought to Estonia a methodology called MindSpring, which supports the adaptation of people with a refugee background in a new environment. We offer the programme to refugees all over Estonia. The first groups started in March and today there are 12 groups in Keila, Haapsalu, Viljandi, Pärnu, Sillamäe, Tallinn and Tartu.
Community Programme
  • We organize regular group activities (women's and men's groups, adaptation clubs) and larger family events as part of the Community Programme. This year, a total of 226 events/group activities have taken place, in which more than 3,500 people have participated, and there have been five camp exchanges for a total of 120 children.

The Community Programme is supported, among others, by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Advocacy and Protection Programme

One of the most important activities of the Advocacy and Protection Programme is the continuous monitoring of the fulfillment of refugees' rights, i.e. the monitoring of international protection. We consistently and systematically gather feedback from refugees about both bottlenecks and systemic violations. As part of the Advocacy and Protection Programme, we cooperate closely with municipalities, state institutions, human rights organizations in Estonia, and the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), the umbrella organization of European refugee organizations.

  • 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. By now, council members have been trained and the first meetings have been held in council format. The council of the Ukrainian refugee community in Georgia has just elected a chairwoman and approved the statute.

The activities of Estonian Refugee Assistance 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.

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. Eesti Pagulasabi is a humanitarian aid organization certified by the European Union.

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