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Overview of the Activities of the Estonian Refugee Council in February

  • This season we provided winterisation support to nearly 16,000 vulnerable households in Ukraine. 
  • We carried out a shelter programme in Ukraine, supporting the light repairs of a total of 200 war-torn residential houses. 
  • We completed a multi-purpose cash assistance programme in Armenia, reaching a total of 399 individuals. 
  • In Georgia, we completed the winterisation humanitarian assistance programme, helping a total of 120 vulnerable refugees with cash-based aid.
  • In February, we collected over 13,000 euros in donations. Thank you!


We continue to provide multi-purpose cash assistance addressing the most urgent needs of affected populations, including food, hygiene and temporary housing. Our cash-based assistance has reached over 260 000 individuals, totaling around 49 million euros. We offer cash-based assistance for three months, and the support per household member in one month is 3,600 Ukrainian hryvnias, or about 92 euros. Registration for assistance is carried out through Estonian Refugee Council's local registration points or through the online application platform. At the moment, our aid is targeted towards people in frontline areas, severely conflict-affected regions, and hard-to-reach areas in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. The programme is financed by the Directorate General for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA/USAID), Ukraine Humanitarian Fund managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The leading partner for the ECHO and BHA-funded projects is Acted.

In the same regions, we offered cash-based assistance for purchasing solid fuels or covering heating bills to endure the winter. The winterisation support was targeted at highly vulnerable households disconnected from central heating and reliant on solid fuel, as well as those affected by energy grid disruptions due to ongoing hostilities. The amount of support for the entire season was 17,500 Ukrainian hryvnias or 450 euros per household. This winter, our help reached nearly 16,000 people. The winterisation programme is supported by DG ECHO and the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund managed by OCHA. The leading partner for the ECHO project is Acted.

We carried out a cash assistance programme supporting the light repairs of war-torn residential houses. The amount of support per household was 56,250 Ukrainian hryvnias, or about 1,300 euros. We have supported the repairs of 200 households in the war-torn frontline areas of Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kherson regions. The programme is supported by OCHA/UHF.

We have distributed more than 35,000 food packages to people in need in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. The Food Security Programme is supported by OCHA/UHF.

We are part of the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative, which helps the humanitarian community maintain a consistent overview of the market situation and the price level of basic commodities in Ukraine. With the help of JMMI, we can further refine the targeting of our cash assistance programmes and implement them in the right areas. Our data collection scope covers 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 get support on getting started or developing sustainable and crisis-resilient micro businesses. By March we supported 61 women with asset-based grants to develop their existing businesses. At the moment we’re accepting new participants to the Empowering Women Spring programme. The entrepreneurship programme is supported by BHA/USAID and implemented in cooperation with Acted and Garage48.

We provide emergency livelihoods support to vulnerable households in Zaporizhzhska, Mykolaivska, and Kharkivska 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. The amount of the support is up to 33,000 Ukrainian hryvnias, or nearly 800 euros, depending on the field of activity. In February, we supported 77 households. 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. The programme is supported by OCHA/UHF.


As part of the Counselling Programme, monthly trainings supporting adaptation continue on five topics: education system, entrepreneurship, legal issues on the example of Estonia and Ukraine, field of work and digital skills. Counseling takes place all over Estonia, both in the form of contact education and online, and nearly 5,500 refugees have taken part in them. In addition, together with the Social Insurance Board and Nordea, we organize information seminars in which more than 100 people have participated so far.

We advise people with pre-registration at the ERC's office (Vambola 6, Tallinn) every day between 10am and 5pm. The helpline +372 5881 1311 (Mon-Fri 10am-5pm) and e-mail are open to all refugees and institutions and people helping them. Viber, Whatsapp, Telegram channels are also open for advice at +372 5464 0007.

We help refugees who have suddenly lost their place of residence with finding emergency accommodation.

The Livelihood's Programme team is developing a new labour market programme that would allow those who have completed the training to start working at one of the partner companies. In cooperation with the Counselling Programme, we have started implementing a youth and senior employment programme that offers internships to programme participants. Together with Garage48, we are also developing a new business programme.

We organize regular group activities and community events as part of the Community Programme. In 2024, we will continue with community events and, in addition, we will launch a community council for refugees who have settled in Estonia. Within the framework of the Council, on the one hand, we want to empower active refugees in standing up for their community and promoting civil society, and on the other hand, we want to create a framework, thanks to which the voice of refugees can be heard more strongly in shaping policies that affect them. More information soon! The activities of the Community Programme are supported by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

In the direction of mental health, we offer the MindSpring programme to refugees all over Estonia. The first groups started in March 2023 and to date there have been more than 21 groups, 163 people have participated in the groups in Keila, Haapsalu, Viljandi, Pärnu, Sillamäe, Tallinn and Tartu. In January of this year, three youth-oriented groups gained momentum again.

As part of the Advocacy and Protection Programme, we continue to monitor the rights of beneficiaries and plan to conduct approximately 900 interviews in 2024. In February, we worked hard to highlight bottlenecks related to refugee children and bring these concerns to the attention of policy makers and service providers. The activities of the Advocacy and Protection Programme are supported by UNHCR.


We completed the winterisation humanitarian assistance programme in Georgia, helping a total of 120 people with cash-based assistance. The amount of the assistance was 1,000 Georgian lari, or approximately 350 euros per person. The programme was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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 programme of community councils in Georgia is supported by ESTDEV — Estonian Centre for International Development.


We finished 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 contition aged 70+ in Shirak, Lori, Tavush and Kotayk areas. The amount of the cash-based assistance per person was 50,000 Armenian drams, or around 114 euros per month. In 2024 we are planning to focus on longer-term interventions in Armenia helping people achieve sustainable livelihoods.
The programme was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


In Jordan, our Livelihood Programme focuses on vulnerable female-headed households. To date, we have trained 100 people and built 20 hydroponic greenhouses, which enable the beneficiaries to grow food for their own consumption on their home plots or to monetize the crops to increase their income. We will continue with the next stage of the programme, in which we will develop our training center and conduct training for 40 people, 12 of whom will receive support to build a hydroponic greenhouse on their home plot. We are also conducting hydroponics training for four women-led community organizations to increase awareness of water-efficient farming methods throughout the region. Estonian Refugee Councils's activities in Jordan are supported by ESTDEV - the Estonian Center for International Development Cooperation.


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

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