Riga, August 25, 2023 – The U.S. Department of State has allocated $1.86 million to six non-governmental organizations and three international organizations in Latvia for programs to assist Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, the U.S. Embassy in Riga announced. This represents the largest U.S. government contribution to support Ukrainian refugees in Latvia.
The funding will support the following NGOs:
- Tavi Draugi to provide two mobile “Help Points” to distribute information and provide critical services to Ukrainian refugees when they first arrive, as well as the construction of a children’s daycare center.
- Riga Investment and Tourism Agency (in partnership with Ukrainian Study Center) to provide Latvian language training, social integration courses, and a mentoring program for Ukrainians residing in Riga.
- Safe House to provide psycho-emotional support for refugees and training for specialists and volunteers who work with refugees, with a focus on mitigating human trafficking risks, re-traumatization, and burnout of volunteers.
- Creative Ideas to provide professionally-focused Latvian and English language training, business and entrepreneurship courses, and cultural integration events for Ukrainian refugees.
- TEV to establish a support system for Ukrainian refugees and their children in Latvia by assisting with housing, healthcare, social services, language training, legal counseling, education, and psychological support, with a special focus on socially-excluded refugees and those with special needs.
- Baltic Security Foundation to provide English language training for Ukrainian refugees to facilitate integration, improve employability, and connect refugees to the English-language information space.
The NGOs were selected through an open competition administered by the U.S. Embassy for funding through the 2023 Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act. The program addresses the unprecedented refugee influx caused by Russia’s unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, the U.S. Department of State will provide funding to the International Organization for Migration, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the World Health Organization for Latvia-based programming.
U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Christopher Robinson: “Latvians have inspired the world with their generosity in welcoming more than 40,000 Ukrainian refugees. We hope that the U.S. government support announced today will help fill critical gaps for refugees, including psychological and physical rehabilitation, social integration, language development, and legal counseling. We look forward to working with partner organizations in the months ahead to support refugees in Latvia. We know the Ukrainian people are strong and resilient – the United States will continue to support Ukrainians as they rebuild they lives, be it in Latvia or in a safe and sovereign Ukraine.”
Chairperson of the Riga City Council Vilnis Ķirsis: "Since the beginning of the war, the Riga Municipality has been a steadfast and tireless supporter of Ukraine and its people who have taken refuge in Riga. Equally important is the selfless help and energy provided by Riga NGOs to help Ukrainian civilians live and settle in Riga. Financial support from the US government is essential to help Ukrainians integrate more quickly into our society. Just as the US is Latvia's strategic partner and close ally in the field of security policy, also Riga is now a partner in the strategically important social sphere."