The U.S. Government Has Awarded $1.56 Million to Organizations Supporting Ukrainian Refugees in Lithuania
On Tuesday, 10 October, the U.S. Embassy presented U.S. government funding to organizations supporting Ukrainian refugees in Lithuania. Tamir Waser, Chargé d’affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, said that he is honored to announce that the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania will provide nine grants totaling more than $1.5 million to civil society organizations providing assistance to Ukrainian refugees throughout Lithuania. This is the largest donation by the U.S. government to Ukrainian refugees in Lithuania. “These organizations have done incredible work since the early days of the war to support those who have fled Ukraine and are living in their communities. These grants will help ensure that vital work continues,” Tamir Wasser said.
32 organizations took part in the open call for proposals launched in March 2023. The projects were selected on the basis of an analysis conducted by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which found that gender-based violence, trafficking and exploitation, mental health and other health services were the most pressing concerns in the Baltic region and Lithuania when assessing the situation of Ukrainian refugees. In Lithuania specifically, lack of employment and income is identified as a barrier to housing and other basic needs, as well as concerns about child-centered protection and access to basic social services, especially for the elderly and disabled. The United Nations Refugee Agency has also noted the lack of integrated after-school activities for children.
“Ukrainians, whose lives have been shattered by a brutal and unjust war, those who have been forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in Lithuania, need a range of practical support. Until our citizens are resettled, additional services – from facilitating their integration into Lithuanian society to language courses and psychological support – are of particular importance and relevance. The U.S. State Department’s decision to provide funding to grantee organizations will allow them to develop new opportunities, programs and services to address the current needs of Ukrainians,” said Petro Beshta, Ambassador of Ukraine to Lithuania.
Nine NGOs from Kaunas, Klaipėda, Telšiai, Šiauliai and Vilnius are set to receive USD 1.56 million. The projects range in value from USD 90,000 to USD 250,000 and in duration from 12 to 24 months. “Lietuvos skautija” will help Ukrainian children to integrate into Lithuanian society by giving boys and girls the opportunity to take part in scouting activities and programs developed within the accredited Lithuanian Scout Youth Program. The House of National Communities will organize free Lithuanian language courses for Ukrainian refugees to help them integrate and find employment. The activities of the NGO Save the Children are aimed at meeting the emotional and community support needs of Ukrainian refugees through a child-centered approach, in cooperation with professionals and through the provision of emotional support kits in their homes.
Caritas in Vilnius and Klaipėda regions will be able to meet some of the basic needs of refugees and provide social, legal, health, psychological and employment assistance. The Lithuanian Refugee Council will organize entrepreneurship, digital and cyber security training, networking events and Lithuanian language courses. The Frida Charity and Support Foundation will provide personalized legal, social and psychological support to refugee women with young children. The Lithuanian Trade Union Alliance will organize the integration of Ukrainian refugees into the labor market, focusing on refugees with disabilities, socially vulnerable refugees and refugees vulnerable to sexual and labor exploitation due to human trafficking. The charity and support foundation “Telšiai with Ukraine” will help to provide housing through mediation with property owners, social services, counselling on employment, social integration and psychological rehabilitation. The Ukrainian integration center in Šiauliai “Malva” will provide psychological, legal and consulting services, as well as courses in Lithuanian, English and computer literacy.