The EU has been the largest grant donor in Belarus. Since 2016, the financial allocation for Belarus has amounted to around €30 million annual grant assistance, with a current portfolio standing at close to €135 million of commitments. EU assistance to Belarus aims at improving the quality of life of Belarusian citizens in a tangible and visible manner. EU support is funded through the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) for the period 2014-2020. Other funding sources are the thematic programmes, focused on human rights and civil society.
In reaction to the repressions and state violence following the 2020 presidential election, the Commission reacted with stepping up targeted assistance to civil society and address the most urgent needs of the people of Belarus. We have prepared a sizable assistance package to support the Belarusian people, which includes:
- Over €2.7 million to assist the victims of repression and state violence. It covers legal assistance, medical support and other emergency assistance to those most in need.
- €1 million of support to independent media and digital outlets.
- €24 million assistance package, which will benefit directly the Belarusian people, in particular civil society, youth and small and medium-sized enterprises, and improve health capacities. Further support to facilitate SME access to finance, worth €6 million, is under preparation.