Estonia supports development cooperation projects in Belarus with €500,000

The Estonian foreign ministry has opened a call for proposals for funding development cooperation projects with the aim of supporting the civil society in Belarus; in total, €500,000 has been earmarked for the projects.

The call for proposals aims to assist and strengthen the civil society in Belarus. Applications for support should involve activities connected to supporting independent media, providing medical aid or rehabilitation to victims of repressions, and supporting education professionals and education programmes, the foreign ministry said in a statement,

According to the Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Reinsalu, it is important to continue supporting the democratic aspirations of the people of Belarus and keep the international community focused on the situation there.

“For sustainable democratic processes, we must continue to empower the civil society of Belarus. The focus must remain on ensuring free speech and supporting the rights of peaceful protesters,” he said in a statement.

Estonia helps Belarus with reform experience

Reinsalu met with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, in Vilnius on 16 October, and she expressed her gratitude to Estonia for its support and raising the issue of the Belarusian crisis in international organisations. They also discussed future activities.

Belarus, as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, has been Estonia’s development cooperation and humanitarian aid partner since 2011. In the case of Belarus, Estonia’s focus has been on reform experience and knowledge in areas such as the development of a digital society, boosting small businesses, the environment and education, according to the Estonian foreign ministry.

The foreign ministry’s development cooperation and humanitarian aid division invites project partners to participate in the call for proposals. Digitally signed applications can be submitted to the ministry until 30 October by emailing taotlusvoor@mfa.ee.

Read also: LIVE: Estonia holds a discussion on human rights in Belarus at the UN Security Council.

Cover: A protest rally against Alexander Lukashenko on 16 August in Minsk, Belarus. Photo by Homoatrox, shared under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

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