In a virtual ceremony today 21 June, Estonia and the United States of America signed a memorandum of understanding on development cooperation in Ukraine. Six new joint projects are launched this summer and autumn.
The memorandum was signed by Undersecretary for Economic and Development Affairs Andres Rundu and Brian Roraff, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Estonia.
“Ukraine is our main development cooperation partner and the United States is our most crucial ally, and we have a long history in development cooperation. The memorandum signed today reaffirms the even closer and more successful continuation of our trilateral cooperation. Our current focus in Ukraine is on advancing the democratisation process and establishing good governance, supporting education and developing entrepreneurship, e-services and cybersecurity,” Rundu said.
“The United States stands strongly with Ukraine, and we are proud to partner with Estonia to help build Ukrainian institutions and empower its people. By helping Ukraine with its efforts to advance reforms, fight corruption, and build a stronger democracy, we not only improve regional stability, we also improve the lives of the Ukrainian people,” Roraff said.
The memorandum confirmed six Estonian projects under the Ukraine call for proposals in the US-led development cooperation partnership programme, and they are set to be launched this summer and autumn. A total of €845 453 is allocated to the projects. Estonia and the United States will both cover half of the total sum.
- NGO Mondo’s Opinion Festival 2021 project creates a secure and inclusive communication platform for locals, officials, and experts and opinion leaders from Ukraine and abroad for discussing local and national issues to come up with solutions.
- The training programme of Turundusproff plc for training export consultants and the Export Academy pilot programme aim at training consultants from the public and the private sector in ten regions of Ukraine, including eastern Ukraine. In the course of the project, consultants will acquire expert knowledge, improve consulting skills and establish cooperation with SMEs interested in exports, preferably female entrepreneurs.
- The programme of the NGO European Cybersecurity Initiative aims at reducing the vulnerability of the critical infrastructure in Ukraine’s energy sector by offering 20 000 workers of energy companies online courses via a cyber hygiene platform. The project is implemented with another project funded by the United States, which is already underway in Ukraine – the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Activity in Ukraine (USAID Cybersecurity Activity).
- The goal of the project of the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership is to increase the social resilience of Western Ukraine by reinforcing local media outlets that have an important role in shaping local opinions and attitudes, including in developing the civil society. The project focuses on the regions of Chernivtsi, Volhynia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv and Rivne.
- The project of the International Centre for Defence and Security creates and tests an application method that is used for conducting a series of scenario-based interdisciplinary table-top exercises. The participant-focused training events are practical simulations aimed at officials, junior politicians, local governments, civil society opinion leaders, students and young experts, local companies and media in eastern and southern Ukraine. The trainings will offer a chance to acquire and improve skills related to social resilience.