Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus signed a directive confirming Estonia’s support for the alleviation of the situation of internally displaced persons in Ukraine with a total of 200 000 euros through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of April 2015, over a million people within Ukraine have been forced from their homes and relocate. The vast majority of IDPs constitute women, children and the elderly. “Both international relief organizations have extensive experience in in crisis situations, they are well versed in the needs of internally displaced persons,” Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus said. “Unfortunately, the conflict continues and the number of internally displaced persons is increasing, not decreasing, so it is important to support the relief agencies operating in Ukraine,” she added.
UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) manages the aid activities in Ukraine in the areas of education, water and sanitation. The main need is access to clean drinking water as well as supplying hygiene products to internally displaced persons with children. Mobile counselling teams have been established near the IDP reception centres, consisting of a social worker, psychologist and lawyer. In addition, special attention will be paid to the reunification of children with their families and the situation of children who have lost their parents. The Foreign Ministry is supporting UNICEF with 150 000 euros.
The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has the leading role in ensuring shelter and essential goods. The main problems that displaced people face are access to social services and the lack of long-term shelter. The UNHCR's activities also include the need for additional protection following incidents of violence and counselling (psycho-social support, family reunification, persons returning home). They also deal with host communities taking in refugees. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supporting the UNHCR with 50000 euros.
Since 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has allocated 875 000 euros for humanitarian aid for the victims of the conflict taking place in Ukraine and for the alleviation of the situation of internally displaced persons.