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UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - NGO Fund


UNHCR Global Appeal 1999 - NGO Fund

1 December 1998

The NGO Fund was established in 1997 to provide financial support to local NGOs and promote the exchange of information and transfer of skills among international and local NGOs. In 1998, small grants programmes were implemented by UNHCR in all twelve countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In addition, support was given to the issue-specific NGO working groups, established in 1997, to promote cooperation and coordination among international and local NGOs, conduct training sessions and situation surveys, and consolidate NGO input into the annual Steering Group meetings.


Strengthening the institutional capacities of local NGOs remains a priority for UNHCR in Armenia. In 1998, UNHCR has actively supported a number of emerging NGOs through training, networking and micro-projects. As a result, six local NGOs have become implementing partners in providing assistance to refugees. During 1999, UNHCR will enhance its cooperation with local NGOs. They will be encouraged to augment their advocacy work for refugee rights, and to play an active part in promoting tolerance and civic society development.


UNHCR will continue to promote the development of NGOs by helping build capacities of indigenous humanitarian organizations, such as the Azerbaijan Youth Union, Mengechavir Branch of the Azerbaijan Children's Fund, the Azerbaijan-European Literacy-Cultural Centre, the UMID-98 Humanitarian and Social Support Centre and the Republican Children Organization. Activities supported through the NGO Fund will include special services for children, legal counselling for internally displaced persons and persons in refugee-like situations, training in entrepreneurship skills, psycho-social rehabilitation, peace and tolerance education and recreational activities for internally displaced persons and refugees.


In 1997-98, UNHCR focused on building local NGOs' organizational management capacities and familiarizing them with issues related to refugees and migration. In 1999, there will be a shift towards more operational cooperation with the local NGOs. Caritas Minsk will continue to provide legal counselling and registration assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers through its refugee reception centre. A local NGO, the Golden Policy centre, will implement educational and recreational programmes for asylum-seekers as well as Belarusian adolescents and children. The education programme will offer computer courses and other activities, including cultural programmes and a summer camp. The Belarusian Movement of Medical Workers will conduct a medical survey on tuberculosis in which interested refugees and asylum-seekers will be checked by an institution in Minsk. The Belarusian Association of Victims for Political Repression will conduct cultural and recreational programmes for asylum-seekers as well as for Belarusian elderly persons. The Teachers' Union in Grodno will continue its Georgian language, history and geography programme attended by 17 children who are seeking asylum and reside in Grodno.

In addition, UNHCR is promoting increased NGO participation in monitoring the refugee status determination procedures undertaken by the Belarusian Government, and increased engagement in the process of integrating recognized refugees.


In 1998, UNHCR's office in Tbilisi will provide financial assistance for a number of local NGOs to enable them to implement programmes for the most vulnerable refugee children; support the psycho-social rehabilitation of vulnerable women in Abhkazia; support UNHCR's protection activities for the repatriation to South Ossetia and other areas of return; mobilize local communities; and assist internally displaced women in Abhkazia, Kutaisi and Zugdidi through a group-loan programme. The NGO Fund will be implemented through the Children's Fund of South Ossetia, Peace and Accord, the United Nations Association of Georgia, the Georgian Young Lawyers' Association and the Charity Humanitarian Centre of Abkhazia.

Republic of Moldova

Through the NGO Fund, UNHCR will strengthen the capacity of newly-created local NGOs to provide legal and social counselling to refugees and displaced persons and to raise public awareness about refugees and internally displaced persons. UNHCR will support local NGOs in their advocacy for the adoption of adequate refugee legislation. Assistance to NGOs will be provided through a small-grants programme, which will not exceed US$ 10,000 per organization annually. The main beneficiaries of the grants will be local NGOs working in the areas of concern to UNHCR, but which have not received financial assistance from UNHCR in the past.


The Children's Fund of Kazakstan will continue to provide material assistance (food and clothing) to the most needy refugee children in the Almaty area and will provide language training so refugee children can attend Kazakh schools. The International Bureau on Human Rights and the Rule of Law will continue to promote refugee law by organizing seminars for governmental officials and NGOs, and will disseminate a collection of policy and legal texts concerning refugees and persons in refugee-like situations. UNHCR will provide the Southern Kazakstan Association of Lawyers' information and documentation centre with relevant documentation; and there will be workshops on international protection and refugee law for local NGOs, government authorities and educational institutions. The Kazakstan Refugee Legal Support organization will provide free legal advice in all phases of the refugee status determination procedure and will cooperate on other legal issues with entities involved in refugee-related work. Through the Counterpart Consortium, UNHCR will continue to strengthen the NGO community in the new capital, Astana.


In 1999, UNHCR will expand its support of several local refugee NGOs which received limited initial assistance in 1998. In addition, UNHCR will support local NGOs in cooperation with other international donors. The main UNHCR partners who will receive financial assistance in 1998 are: Harmony and Tolerance, Muk-Soo, Hireneso, the Advisory Centre for Refugees, the Forum of Women's NGOs, Jardam, and Centre Interbilim, all local NGOs. UNHCR will also provide limited amounts of direct funding (US$ 2,000 - 3,000 per NGO) to those requiring one-time assistance, particularly in the areas of law and human rights, refugee children and refugee women.

Russian Federation

To complement the capacity-building assistance provided in the past, the scope of the Fund will be enlarged during 1999 to include support to the operational activities and local humanitarian assistance projects of NGOs.


The focus of UNHCR's support to local NGOs in Tajikistan will be on confidence-building in a post-conflict situation and establishment of community-based organizations. Small grants will be provided to these organizations in cooperation with United States International Development Agency (USAID) and the World Bank. UNHCR's main implementing partner for the NGO support programme is the Counterpart Consortium. The programme focuses on areas affected by the civil conflict and return areas, such as Khatlon and Gorno Badakstan.


NGO development in Turkmenistan is not as advanced as in other countries of the CIS. As a civil society is established, UNHCR will work with NGOs in the following areas: health and medical services to refugees; advocacy for women's equality, especially Afghan refugee women; integration and local settlement of Afghan and Tajik refugees; educational projects for individual refugees on language and other skills; and promotion of refugee and human rights, including access to asylum procedures.


In accordance with the recommendations contained in the CIS Conference Programme of Action, UNHCR will, in conjunction with IOM, establish a series of refugee/migration service points throughout Ukraine. These centres will be run by local NGOs identified in a 1998 UNHCR-sponsored nation-wide needs/resource assessment. The centres will provide information on asylum procedures in Ukraine and be contact points for a lawyers' network.

In Kyiv, responsibility for the administration of the Nivki Refugee Counselling Office will be transferred to the local NGO, Edelweiss. To support the implementation of the citizenship campaign for returned formerly deported persons in Crimea, UNHCR will sign two agreements with the local NGOs, Assistance and the Crimean Tatars' Lawyers'

UNHCR will also continue to work closely with other donor agencies interested in supporting the development of the NGO sector in Ukraine, including Counterpart Consortium, the Eurasia Foundation, the Renaissance Foundation, the British Council, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the USAID and the Winrock Foundation.


Liaison Office Tashkent will continue its cooperation with the Counterpart Consortium to build the capacities of local NGOs by providing training, consultations and information on NGO activities throughout the country and abroad. The NGO Fund project will be also implemented by an NGO, Hayot Yullari, which will conduct a social services programme for the most vulnerable refugees. The programme will help raise self-confidence through job creation, and will provide social counselling, medical assistance and training of NGOs on how to work with governmental structures, national and international NGOs, and UNHCR. UNHCR will support NGO activities related to the protection of refugees and development of refugee, citizenship and human rights legislation.

International and Regional Activities

To support international and regional coordination and exchange among NGOs accredited to the CIS Conference, UNHCR will provide financial assistance to four NGO working groups, established in December 1997. The financial support is mainly intended to coordinate NGO activities related to the implementation and monitoring of the CIS Conference process by organizing training and information-exchange fora. Members of the working groups will actively seek additional resources for their operations, research, training and publications. UNHCR is also seeking funding to support the establishment of an NGO Working Group on Formerly Deported Peoples. The Working Groups are:

NGO Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution (lead agency: Kazakstan Conflict Management Centre); NGO Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance (lead agency: Norwegian Refugee Council); NGO Working Group on Integration/Return/Resettlement (lead agency: Counterpart International); NGO Working Group on Refugee Law and Protection (lead agencies: European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Danish Refugee Council and Finnish Refugee Advice Centre); and NGO Working Group on Formerly Deported Peoples (lead agency to be identified before the end of 1998).

UNHCR will support each working group by providing financial assistance of US$ 70,000, as most of the groups are also sponsored by others, such as their national Governments.

Budget US$

ActivitiesSpecial Programmes
Country support
The Republic of Moldova40,000
Russian Federation200,000
NGO Activities
Working Group on Conflict Prevention and Resolution60,000
Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance60,000
Working Group on Repatriation and Resettlement60,000
Working Group on Refugee Law and Protection60,000
Working Group on Formerly Deported Peoples60,000