1. Humanitarian aid to occupied Palestinian territory via United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to alleviate the situation of Gaza strip population suffering from Israeli air strikes (January 2009)
On 27 December 2008 the Israeli air force started a military operation in Gaza strip. During a week long offensive about 380 people were killed and 1600 injured. According to the UN 25% of the people who died were civilians and among them were at least 38 kids and 25 women. These air strikes inflicted significant damage to the already fragile infrastructure and destroyed Palestinian capacity to offer public services. On 31 December the UNRWA called upon the international community to collect USD 34 421 100 to help the population of Gaza strip. The goal of UNRWA is to give effective humanitarian aid to alleviate the consequences of the ongoing military operation in Gaza. The appeal for USD 34 million covers the cost of hygienic products, food, cash, building materials and fuel for the next four months. In winter conditions it is essential to offer people shelter. Estonia responded to the appeal.
Partners: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
2. Deployment of Anu Raisma, Health Expert to the Special Mission of the Republic of Estonia, to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan based at the ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province. Project implemented by the non-profit organisation Mondo (February - August 2009)
The project’s aim is to continue manning of the health expert position in the ISAF Lashkar Gah Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and through that to support reconstruction of Helmand Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Project is realised through arrangement of the Estonian health expert’s mission. Expert’s working area will be Lashkar Gah and district centres Gereshk, Sangin, Musa Qa’leh and Garmshir.
3. Development education project ‘Every child’s right for education’ implemented by the non-profit organisation Mondo (February 2009 – January 2010)
Non-profit organization Mondo launched a global education project “Education – Every Childs Right” in February. The general goal of the project is to raise interest in Estonia, especially among young people, towards developing countries and their problems with education. Within the project Mondo will be introducing the Global Campaign for Education (www.campaignforeducation.org) in Estonia and carrying out thematic public events and competitions (rap music, comics and film competitions) in co-operation with schools, open youth centres and the general public. Further goals of the project include raising awareness about wider issues concerning developing countries and the Millennium Development Goals and to provide young people with opportunities to point out current issues, discuss and solve them.
4. Diplomacy, international relations and European integration related training for developing democracies Project implemented by the Estonian School of Diplomacy. (February – December 2009)
In the framework of the project, 3 three-week training courses will be carried out for Iraqi, Kosovar, Georgian, Moldovan, Ukrainian and Armenian civil servants at the Estonian School of Diplomacy. The training course for Iraqi and Kosovar diplomats will be aimed at providing the participants with professional skills required in foreign service (Iraqi course will take place in May 2009 and the relevant course for Kosovar participants in June 2009. As concerns the Moldovan, Ukrainian, Georgian and Armenian participants, their course will give an in-depth overview of the Estonian integration experience to the EU and NATO, of the decision making procedures of these organizations, of the cooperation between the member states and their relations with the Eastern neighbours of the ENP. The Estonian School of Diplomacy has an experience of organizing similar courses already since 2003. The project will be implemented in 2009.
5. Training of the parliament members of Moldova and parliamentary staff. Training Project implemented by the Estonian State Chancellery. (February – July 2009)
In the framework of the project, the Estonian experience will be introduced to members of parliament and the parliamentary staff of Moldova. The training will better prepare participants for their work in parliament, especially the newly elected members. The training will be mainly geared towards members of the commissions on foreign relations, European Union, social questions, environment protection, economics or finance. The aim of the project is to raise know-how in legislation, as well as Moldovan institutional capability, encourage wider cooperation in international organisations, and develop co-operation between Estonian and Moldovan members of parliament and parliamentary staff.
6. World education project GLEN (Global Education Network of Young Europeans) implemented by the Roundtable for Development Cooperation (March 2009 – April 2010)
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has supported GLEN (Global Network of Young Europeans) project since 2005. The Global Education project GLEN aims at contributing to a better understanding of global interdependency, fair and sustainable ways of living, to a responsible development policy and to the North-South relations based upon equal partnership and mutual respect. By working in development countries the intern returning to their home countries take the responsibility to share their experience with Estonian public via advocacy events. In 2009 Estonian volunteers worked in Georgia, Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania and Cambodia.
Further information: http://www.glen-europe.org/
7. World Day, implemented by Estonian Roundtable for Development Cooperation (March – July 2009)
World Day is a meeting place of cultures right in the centre of Tallinn, open for everyone. It is a window to the world, opening up to the possibilities of creating a better, more just world.
The 2009 event consisted of several different activities with the aim to introduce Development Education and Cooperation and organizations working on the field. Film nights focusing on education in Africa and Brazil brought together a younger audience who gladly used the opportunity for discussion with representatives of the regions, but also the respective films and music. A conference on trends of Development Education in Europe and Estonia saw representatives of various different organizations and institutions from ministries to schools and NGOs. The main event in the centre of town with organisations' fair and performers from Mali, Georgia and Estonia hosted citizens of all ages and professions.
The World Day is organized by the Roundtable for Development Cooperation in collaboration with the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several other partners. Please find more information on Estonian Development Cooperation webpage.
8. Introduction of Information System of Prisoners Register for Republic of Moldova. Project implemented by Real Systems Ltd. (April – August 2009)
The aim of the project is to take into use modern, entire information system of prisoners register subordinated to ministry of justice. The aim of the project will be achieved with adjustment of information system to Moldovan institutions of prisons on the assumption of needs of Moldova. As the result of the project the situation of the information exchange between the institutions of prison and law machinery will be improved, also the account of prisoners. The project will be implemented in 2009. State funding allocated for the implementation of project activities: EUR 76 374.
9. Supporting the Afghanistan presidential and district council elections election in 2009 - 2010 via UNDP Elect (Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacities for Tomorrow) project (March 2009)
The ELECT project will continue to build the capacity of the International Electoral Committee for the conduct of elections in Afghanistan and will facilitate systematic analysis of performance and optimise achievement of project targets and benchmarks; with an initial focus on voter registration. Estonia has the pleasure to support the Afghanistan presidential and district council elections election via UNDP Elect (Enhancing Legal and Electoral Capacities for Tomorrow) project.
10. Estonian Disaster Relief Team (EDRT) IHP support mission in Namibia (March-April 2009).
The objective of this project is the mission of an EDRT specialist to Namibia to support the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC). The main function of this specialist is to provide IT and communication support for the UNDAC mission in the disaster region. Immediate goals are the overall support of UNDAC, guaranteeing that the IT and communication technologies work smoothly during the mission and participating in the assessment missions in the region.
Partners: Estonian Disaster Relief team (EDRT)
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affaires
UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affaires (OCHA)
The Representative Office of the UN in Namibia
11. Photo exhibition and book Beloved Afghanistan, implemented by Raadi Duo OÜ (June – August 2009)
Photo exhibition and the book Beloved Afghanistan offer broader picture of Afghanistan culture and traditions. Views from everyday life open the possibility to have different understanding about Afghanistan that is usually related to conflict and warfare.
The images are exhibited from October 2008 until February 2009 at National Library in Tallinn, in Museum of Tartu University History and in Narva Museum. Three photo exhibitions take place in Võru Town Gallery, Pärnu Museum and Kuressaare Cultural Centre Hall. In July one copy of the book Beloved Afghanistan is sent to every high school and college in Estonia. Aim is to give more information of lifestyle in Afghanistan to schoolteachers and students. The project lasts from February 2009 until July 2009.
During the period from 2006 to 2008 project manager Õnne Pärl and her husband lived in Afghanistan. Õnne Pärl worked there as a journalist and photographer and cooperated with organizations such as Turquoise Mountain Foundation, Landell Mills Ltd and Save the Children Sweden-Norway. Õnne Pärl is also the author of a large-format book that contains both photos and text “Beloved Afghanistan” (Raadi Duo 2008).
12. Supporting reform- and reconstruction process of the Iraqi prison system (June 2009) implemented by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonian Ministry of Justice and European Union crisis management operation EUJUST LEX.
EUJUST LEX is one of the European Union’s civilian crisis management operations implemented under the auspices of the European Security and Defence Policy. To contribute to the EUJUST LEX operation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice a two-week work experience secondment for two Iraqi prison officials. The secondment took place in Tallinn Prison and Viru Prison. The participants got the comprehensive overview of the reform of the Estonian Prison System, likewise had the opportunity to see and discuss best practices how to run a prison.
13. Voluntary donation to the Central Emergency Response Fund CERF (June 2009)
Estonia has supported international humanitarian organizations through voluntary contributions since 1996. Estonia made the first donation to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2005 and intends to continue that practice in accordance with the Development Plan for Estonian Development and Humanitarian Aid 2006-2010. The main goal of CERF is to enable fast and timely assistance of the UN humanitarian aid organizations that is indispensable for the survival of the victims of natural catastrophes or conflict situations. By continuing contributions to CERF, Estonia demonstrates tangible actions taken in order to support people in crisis situations and to enhance the quality of life in places where international help is needed the most. It is also a crucial step in enhancing the capacity of the UN humanitarian aid.
14. Voluntary donation to the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations, Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Estonia has supported the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations and the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People since 1996, the activities of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues since 2006 and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights since 2008.
The goal of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations is to support the participation of the organizations of the indigenous populations and communities in various workshops that focus on the situation of indigenous populations. The Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People funds the operation of the Forum on Indigenous Issues and the projects funded based upon the action plan of the Second Decade for protecting the rights of indigenous people. The activities of the above mentioned Funds in developing networks for organizations of indigenous populations and in supporting indigenous populations have been generally acknowledged by other donors as well as by organizations of indigenous populations. The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is an advisory body of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Forum has a mandate to discuss the economic and social development of the indigenous people, their cultural, educational, and health related rights as well as human rights. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) represents the obligation of the world community to protect human rights and dignity by helping countries to be accountable to its population. Due to continuing abuses of human rights of the indigenous people in several countries, the activities of the UNHCR have an immense importance also in protecting the human rights of the indigenous populations.
Supporting these Funds and UNHCR serves one of the goals highlighted in Estonian Strategy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid 2006-2010 – guaranteeing human rights in developing countries while paying special attention to the rights and development of the indigenous populations. Via continued contributions to these funds Estonia demonstrates that besides the political will the country also makes a tangible effort to support indigenous populations.
15. Humanitarian Assistance to Sri Lanka through UNCHR
There has been more the 100 000 people killed in Sri Lankan ethic civil war over the past 25 years. Since the 1950s there have been four attempts of peaceful conflict resolution but without positive results. The ethnic turned into a war between the Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) that has been proclaimed to be a terrorist organization by 32 countries, among which is also the European Union. In January 2008 the Government unilaterally broke the peace to achieve a military victory over the LTTE. The hostilities lasted until the end of April by which time the LTTE rebels were pushed into a land strip of only 8 km2 that used to be a security zone in the northern part of the island. On 17 May 2009 after the last offensive, the Government of Sri Lanka declared the end of the civil war. According to the UN, in the last phase of the war 6500 people got killed, about 14 000 were wounded and close to 300 000 people have resettled to the Government controlled areas.
UN Global Appeal 2009 to assist Sri Lanka is USD 155 mln out of which the UNHCR needs USD 17,2 mln to build and maintain refugee camps. The framework for UNHCR’s operations in Sri Lanka is based on confidence-building and stabilization measures. The aim is to prevent further displacement by restoring trust among different communities, the civil administration and security forces. The Office will also undertake emergency response activities and make efforts to reduce new displacement while continuing to search for durable solutions.
Partners: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
16. Humanitarian Assistance to Pakistan through ICRC
Pakistan plays a key role in stabilizing Afghanistan but until now the Pakistani Government has not been consistent in its activities against the rebels. The hostilities that began in north-eastern Pakistan in mid-2008 have had dramatic effects on the humanitarian situation there. In particular, an upsurge in fighting between the Pakistani armed forces and insurgent groups in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) since May 2009 has left hundreds of thousands of residents stranded and deprived of basic services. It also triggered mass displacements of population, estimated at over 2.5 million people, from DIR, Swat and Bajaur districts. Most of the victims are civilians who are escaping the region. Since the beginning of May, the UNHCR has built 26 new refugee camps. Thousands of internal refugees have remained in the conflict region. According to the OCHA report (11.06.2009), there are 1.9 mln registered internal refugees out of whom, as of early June, 235 247 lived in camps, about 100 000 in unstructured temporary camps without services, about 100 000 lived in school buildings and most of the internal refugees lived in host families. The UN appealed for a total of USD 543 mln in humanitarian aid to help more than 1.6 million people displaced by fighting in north-west Pakistan. The International Committee of the Red Cross has the greatest need for resources.
Partners: International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
17. Increasing institutional capability and legitimacy of the Parliament of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, implemented by the Chancellery of the Riigikogu. (November 2009)
The project will provide a provisional overview of the technical capabilities and needs of the parliament of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The operating principles and advantages of the e-state and e-voting (including use of ID card) which have been successfully launched in Estonia and the digital verbatim records system used in the Riigikogu will be introduced to members of the Afghanistan parliament and parliament officials. The opportunities to implement similar projects in the Afghanistan parliament and cooperation with other partners (USAID) will be examined on the spot.
18. Launch of health-related adults training in Helmand Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, implemented by the non-profit organisation Mondo
The project’s aim is to launch health-related adults training in Helmand Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The project target group are women of the province, both as trainers and trainees. The project will start first aid training in the communities Lashkar Gah, Gereshk and Musa Qalah and in a training centre in Lashkar Gah. Trainees will receive first aid manuals in Pushtu as well as first aid kits specially tailored for households. The project is realised through the local project coordinators, female doctors and the Women Affairs Centre in Lashkar Gah and is supported by the Estonian health expert in Afghanistan.
19. Establishing of health workers’ vocational training in Helmand Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, implemented by the non-profit organisation Mondo
The project’s aim is to launch vocational training of health workers in Helmand Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The project target group are employees of the provincial health board and health institutions. The project launches vocational training of health workers by establishing a training centre and support to the nurses and midwives’ school. The project is realised through the Helmand provincial health board and is supported by the Estonian health expert in Afghanistan.
20. Publishing and presenting Paul Colliers book „The Bottom Billion: Why the poorest countries are failing and what can be done about it” in Estonia. The project is implemented by the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute (August 2009 – July 2010)
The aim of the book is to promote wider knowledge and interest of the world in Estonia and to enhance the awareness of globally important social, economical and political questions. The book will also contribute to the public debate in Estonia about globalization challenges and possibilities and will also conduce to solidarity towards the inhabitants of poorer states. Citizen conscious about their role in affecting the political and economical problems in the world are also the basis for evolving successful development co-operation.
21. Publishing a special newspaper edition "Afghanistan 90". The project is implemented by The Estonian NATO Association (July - September 2009)
The project's overall objective is to increase awareness and support for global and developmental issues in Estonian and Russian language. Specific objective is to introduce Estonian development cooperation partner country -Afghanistan - its history and traditions, governance, trends and especially future challenges. Although Afghanistan's biggest developmental problem is instability and deprivation of security, the Special Edition primarily focuses on the importance of civilian and military cooperation, which is essential to rebuilding the country. Special Edition will be distributed between the Newspaper Postimees, both in Estonian and Russian language.
On September 30, 2009, the province of West-Sumatra in Indonesia was hit by two earth-quakes, one with the rate of 7.9 and the other 6.2 magnitude. The regions of Padang (region capital), Pariaman and Mentawai were hit the worst. Initially there were reports of 460 dead, at least 500 collapsed buildings and thousand trapped under detritus. Thousands of people also fled their homes due to heavy rainfall and flooding. Indonesian government started immediately with the rescue mission and on the 1st of October also made a request for international organisations and countries to provide and help with rescue teams (especially with heavy equipment to free people from detritus), medical care, personnel, medicals, food and tents. Office for the coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) sent an UNDAC team to the region. OCHA asked International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) to provide info-technological and communications support for the UNDAC team. And in the framework of IHP mission, a member of the Estonian Disaster Relief Team (EDRT), Innar Malleus was sent to Indonesia. IHP mission supporting the UNDAC was a great success and Estonia will contribute to similar missions also in the future.
In the framework of the EU police mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL), Estonia supports a joint project to establish a Provincial Police Training Academy in Lashkar Gah, Helmand. Creation of the academy emanates from the plan of the Minister of the Interior of Afghanistan to intensify police job, in which one of the main goals is to train Afghanistan’s own trainers across the country. The aim of the project is construct and to equip a necessary building and to conduct police training there according to the action plan of the Ministry of the Interior. The police officers of the Helmand province have so far been trained outside the province (i.e. Kandahar), as there have been no possibilities to do that before.
24. Voluntary contribution to the international development cooperation and humanitarian organizations (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM, DDAGTF, UNGEI, DGTTF, WTO Integrated Framework, UNDAC, OCHA, ICRC and UNHCR) (October 2009)
Estonia has supported international organizations through voluntary contributions since 1996. The aim of international development aid is to reduce poverty, support the protection of human rights, improve the conditions for children, help people in the conflict zone and during the natural disasters and support the developing countries. Subsidizing the aforementioned international organizations meets the objectives and measures of Estonian Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid Development Plan 2006-2010. The actions of the international organizations have been effective and generally recognized by other donor and destination countries. Continuing support to them shows that besides political will Estonia is ready to take real steps to improve people’s lives and help them during crises.
The UN has classified Sudan as one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes in the world. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) appealed in 2008 for USD 63.1 million to help international refugees of Southern Sudan as well as internal refugees. The objective of this appeal was to help 160 000 refugees to return home within 2008 and 2009 and to support the rebuilding of normal life in Southern Sudan. In 2009 it was calculated that Sudan need 2.1 billion USD, and within 6 months 56% of it was covered. Estonia also responded to this appeal and provides relief to returning refugees. The funds will enable UNHCR to satisfy the primary needs of the refugees such as food, transportation and logistics, house hold items, shelter, drinking water and the creation of sanitary conditions. Despite the wishes of the Government of Sudan and the trilateral peace plan to move slowly towards the post-conflict reconstruction, in reality the conditions in many regions of Sudan are bad, caused by internal instability and difficult nature conditions and need for humanitarian aid, particularly in the western part of Darfur and southern Sudan, remains high.
European Humanities University works as an accredited educational institution in Vilnius after the school was closed in 2004 by the authorities in Minsk, Belarus. The school had been operating in Minsk since 1992 and was supported by international funds from charitable foundations. Among other things, the school offers opportunities for those Belarusian students, who can’t do that in their native country because of their political views. Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the University through Humanities Trust Fund also in 2008, which is administered by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
27. Development education project „Health, rights and choice for everyone. Integrating development issues into sexual health and rights framework“ implemented by the Estonian Sexual Health Association (co-financing for the European Commission’s project) (November 2009 – March 2010)
„Health, rights and choice for everyone. Integrating development issues into sexual health and rights framework“ is an international youth project mainly funded by European Commission. One of the main features of the project is the inclusion of the young people to prevention activities through schooling and creative work in six partnering countries at the same time (Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine). Parallel actions in all of the six target countries give Estonian students an opportunity to exchange experiences with coevals and also through project’s webpage www.lightlove.eu. The primary aims of the project are to raise awareness of the needs of the European developing countries and to increase EU member states contribution in development co-operation; enhance public awareness, especially among young people, about sexual and reproductive health and rights issue and to highlight the close relationship between the area of global development and poverty reduction.
On September 30, 2009, The west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra was stuck by two consecutive earthquakes over a 48-hour period. On 30 September 2009, the first quake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck at 17:15 local time. The earthquake struck at a depth of 71 km off the coast, close to the district of Padang in west Sumatra province. The second, measuring 6.8 struck an inland area 225 km southeast of Padang city. The damage and destruction was spread over eight cities: Padang City, Pariaman City, Bukittinggi City, Padang Pariaman District, Pesisir Selatan District, Solok City, Padang Panjang City and Pasaman Barat District. In total, 777,893 were initially reported to be affected, another 3,000 people trapped under collapsed buildings, with time running out for the survivors. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) made an appeal to the international community to support the affected regions with 18.5 million USD, in order to help 100000 people, who had survived the earthquake. Estonia answered to the appeal with the aim of helping the people to get their everyday normal routine back on track as quickly as possible.
30 October 2009 Ukraine officially announced that three western regions of Ukraine have been declared epidemic area due to the new influenza H1N1. Termopili, Ivano-Frankivski, Trans-Carpathia, Vinnitsa, Volõõn, Hmelnitski, Rivne, Tšernovtsi and Lvov were placed in quarantine. The schools were closed for at least 3 weeks. By the 12th of November 2009 at least 189 deaths due to the influenza were confirmed. Since the outbreak, the flu has affected a total of 1 228 188 people, of whom 57 286 have been hospitalized. World Health Organization (WHO) and also European Union’s evaluation team went to Ukraine to assess the situation. 31.10.2009 Ukraine made an official request for assistance to European Union and bilaterally to Estonia, in order to obtain medicines, health resources and to mitigate and limit the spread of the epidemic. Estonia decided to respond positively to the request and send medicine to Ukraine.
During the night of 4th of November, 2009, the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Pacific Ocean was hit by a second category cyclone IDA which brought heavy rainfalls to the region until 9th of November. El Salvador has been significantly affected due to the mudflows caused by heavy rainfall, which have destroyed houses, bridges, roads and flooded the fields. 192 people were initially reported to be killed, 80 missing and more than 15 000 forced to abandon their homes. According to United Nations, approximately 75 000 people need humanitarian aid. El Salvador made an official appeal to the international community and bilaterally also to Estonia to support the affected regions in an amount of 13 125 999 USD. Estonia answered to the appeal and decided to assist the population of El Salvador struck by the IDA cyclone.
The aim of the study visit of Afghani diplomats is to focus on the central themes crucial in building up a foreign service as well as to introduce Estonian experience of European and Transatlantic cooperation. The training course also aims at deepening personal contacts between diplomats of Afghani and Estonian foreign services, as well as Afghani contacts with Estonian political institutions in general. The study visit is focused on diplomacy, international negotiations, international law, diplomatic protocol, EU and regional integration. It consists of lectures, seminars and visits to Estonian state institutions.
Kosovo declared its independence on the 17th of February 2008. On the 11th of July 2008 The European Commission and World Bank held an international donor conference for Kosovo, during which the donors contributed more than 1.2 billion Euros for the reconstruction and sustainable development of Kosovo. Estonia announced the decision to support Kosovo in a period of 4 years with 10 million kroons all together. First part of this amount, 3 million, was given to the Multi-Donor Trust Fund for SEDPP (Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Employment of Kosovo Sustainable Development Policy) created by the World Bank. In October 2009 ICO (International Civilian Office) leader Pieter Feith (at the same time EU’s special representative to Kosovo) sent an appeal to support the ICO action during 2009-2010. ICO’s mission is to follow the implementation Martti Ahtisaari’s plan, which means building a multinational society and also protecting the cultural heritage of Kosovo. Estonia answered to the appeal positively and made a contribution to the ICO.
To support a Psycho-Rehabilitation Centre for Gali inhabitants as to provide assistance and help to all in need of the region. The Centre is a place for intercourse, to meet persons with similar interests/views, to express personal opinions and etc. With that aim the individual psychological treatment will be delivered to every person as well as be held joint public meetings. Such kind of the arrangements will improve their psychological state and return incentive to life especially in the current circumstances, where the cross administrative border movement is almost impossible and access to similar psychosocial assistance on the Georgian controlled territory is made impossible.
On 27 December, Israeli forces launched a massive military operation in the Gaza Strip codenamed “Cast Lead”, the stated aims of which were to end the firing of rockets into Southern Israel. In the first three days of the operation, hundreds of air strikes took place against a range of targets, resulting in the death of well over 300 Palestinians, including 9 UNRWA students and 2 UNRWA staff, and the injuring of more than 800, among them a large number of civilians, women and children. The bombing brought extensive damage to public infrastructure and hundreds of civilian homes and businesses. In 2007 during the Paris donor conference Estonia promised to support the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) with 1 million USD in a period of 2008-2010. A year later in Sharm el Sheikh during Gaza donor conference, Estonia also promised to support the construction of Gaza with 100 000 USD. In the spring of 2009, Estonia contributed 1 million kroons to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in order to ease the aftermaths of the bombings. Estonia continuingly puts high emphasis on the support of PNA and declares it to be important to answer to UNICEF appeal, who coordinates the help to educational sector and inhabitant protection.
The aim of the study visit of fifteen Palestinian diplomats is to focus on the central themes crucial in building up a foreign service of a young democracy as well as to introduce Estonian experience of European and Transatlantic cooperation. The training course also aims at deepening personal contacts between diplomats of the Palestinian and Estonian foreign services. The study visit is focused on diplomacy, international negotiations, international law, diplomatic protocol, EU and regional integration. It consists of lectures, seminars and visits to Estonian state institutions. It is important to support Palestine efforts strengthening their statehood and through that make little steps forward in the Near-East peace process. Additional benefit of the study visit is developing the diplomatic relations between Estonia and Palestine and creating new opportunities for cooperation. Similar trainings have been organized by the Estonian School of Diplomacy since 2003.