On Wednesday, June 8, the Minister of the Interior Kristaps Eklons met with NGOs actively assisting Ukrainians, heard about challenges and solutions, and thanked them for their work, such as coordination of volunteers, participation in the Operational Control Centre meetings, cooperation on communication and other issues.
Mr Eckleton said that NGOs had been very supportive of the Ukrainian refugee crisis and that this had been felt from the very beginning of the war. A number of measures to support Ukraine's civilian population have been improved as a direct result of NGO proposals. "Volunteer coordination, fundraising campaigns, creation and maintenance of various platforms, creation and translation of various materials are some of the things we appreciate," said the Minister. He stressed that the public administration, local authorities, NGOs, businesses, the community and other groups are working closely together to help Ukrainians.
The Ministry of the Interior supports the need for additional funding for the NGO sector, which is actively helping to support Ukrainians, and calls on the responsible institutions to come up with draft legislation and solutions to find the best way to support NGOs, as it understands that the capacity for volunteering is limited and a support programme for NGO work is necessary. This will also strengthen the resilience of society itself in crisis situations and in the provision of social support, as NGOs point out.
Other issues raised by NGOs on the role of NGOs in the civil protection system, on long-term measures to improve refugee and asylum-seeker policy will be further addressed by the Ministry at the Cooperation Council of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of the Interior and NGOs (https://www.iem.gov.lv/lv/iekslietu-ministrijas-un-nvo-sadarbibas-memorands).
The meeting was attended by representatives from the association "Tavi draugi", the movement "Viegli palīdzēt", the Latvian Scouts and Guides Movement, the foundation "Tautas palīdzības fonds", the movement "Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem", the Ukrainian refugee community centre "Common Ground", the association “Patvērums “Drošā māja””, the Latvian Samaritan Association, the movement "Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem" and Ilze Bagatska, the Coordinator of Ukrainian Basketball Players and Families.