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In response to Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) established a comprehensive emergency program to support Ukrainian citizens, civic activists and civil society organizations, and journalists and independent media. The program, “Ukraine: Relief, Resilience, Recovery” (U3R), acknowledges the key roles played by all these actors in the short-term defense and long-term development of a democratic, European, and transatlantic Ukraine.

Building on more than 15 years of GMF democracy assistance through its Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, U3R pursues three broad objectives.

First, it helps Ukrainian civil society and media provide for their staffs’ immediate safety; retain human, organizational, and technical capacities; and ensure uninterrupted operations.

Second, it works to increase the resilience of Ukrainian society by supporting civic and media actors as they fight disinformation, assist the most vulnerable social groups, support the reintegration of liberated areas and internally displaced people, and engage in risk education and youth participation.

Third, it fosters the earliest and strongest possible involvement of Ukrainian civil society and local communities in the planning of internationally funded reconstruction efforts.

U3R does all this primarily through small to mid-sized grants to civic initiatives, civil society organizations, and independent media outlets. The program also supports targeted capacity-building measures; Ukrainian civil society networking and cooperation on the local, national, and international levels; and policy initiatives by Ukrainian experts and think tanks.

Over the first year of its operations, U3R supported nearly 100 projects and partners with nearly $2 million in funding. This assistance was made possible by the generous support of Global Affairs Canada, the United States Agency for International Development, the European Commission (DG NEAR), the German government through the KfW Development Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Porticus.

Priorities and Calls for Applications

Program Description

In response to the security challenges and humanitarian crisis caused by Russia's war against Ukraine, the German Marshall Fund of the United States and its Ukraine: Relief, Resilience, Recovery program is launching a new call for project proposals for civil society organizations and independent media from Ukraine.

Proposals will address one of the following priorities:

1. Emergency support: grants of maximum $25,000; duration 3–12 months

Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals that cover the immediate needs of the civic activists and media professionals, as well as their families. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):

  • Access to social, legal, and mental health services;
  • Immediate/temporary relocation support inside Ukraine or to a neighboring country (for example, Moldova, Romania, Poland, and other countries welcoming refugees), including transportation costs, temporary accommodation, and seasonal equipment;

2. Recovery and capacity building for CSOs: grants of maximum $25,000; duration 3–12 months.

Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals addressing the immediate needs of civil society organizations (CSOs) to enable them to resume their activities and to continue offering support to their beneficiaries. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):

  • Digitalization support such as replacing and/or purchasing new equipment, recovering and/or developing systems for storage and protection of data;
  • Access to mental health services and healing activities for staff and volunteers;
  • Legal assistance for those going through abusive situations, including human trafficking and bribery, among others.
  • Institutional support to cover the salaries of the core team, rental costs for the office (temporary relocation or permanent office), utilities, and communication;
  • Emergency preparation through trainings on data security, first aid, and survival in war/conflict zones;
  • Capacity-building and equipment that can help to avert digital and physical assaults on Ukraine-based and exiled civil society and media organizations.

3. Recovery and capacity building of civil society organizations in the de-occupied territories: grants of maximum $25,000; duration 3-12 months

Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals addressing the immediate needs of CSOs to enable them to resume their activities and continue offering support to their beneficiaries. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):

  • Facilitating the development and support of organizations and their beneficiaries in the de-occupied territories, in particular facilitating the restoration of access to administrative and social services;
  • Support to organizations working on establishing communication and coordination with state and local self-government bodies for the reintegration of the de-occupied territories;
  • Support to organizations of internally displaced and local residents of the de-occupied territories, in particular with access to legal, social, and psychological services, etc. ;
  • Institutional support for reimbursement of salaries of the core team, rent of office space (temporary relocation or permanent office), utilities, and communication services;
  • Support for the implementation of formal and informal educational safety trainings, including on explosive remnants of war, in the de-occupied territories.

4. Media support: grants of maximum $25,000; duration 3–12months.

Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals that support the media's key role in informing their audiences. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):

  • Core support for immediate needs such as salaries, costs for temporary relocations (rent, utilities), communication, and equipment, including laptops, cameras, microphones, etc.;
  • Support for media content creators to diversify sources and formats of accurate information through on-the-ground reporting and fact-checking;
  • Monitoring and exposing malign actors, their narratives, and dissemination patterns;
  • Content creation to reach diverse and new audiences;
  • Development of policy recommendations to limit the impact of false news;
  • Access to wellbeing services for journalists, including psychological support, coaching, and trauma healing;
  • Personal safety/survival trainings for journalists in war/conflict zones.

5. Support for educational projects, youth organizations and civic initiatives to rebuild Ukraine: grants of maximum $25,000; duration 3-12 months.

Under this thematic area, priority will be given to proposals addressing the needs of CSOs, including youth organizations, to enable them to resume their activities and continue offering support to their beneficiaries. The following indicative actions are eligible under this thematic area (non-exhaustive list):

  • Capacity building and supporting organizations working on the designing and development of strategies for creating national memory, identity in the context of war and post-war reconstruction at the local and state levels;
  • Promoting and supporting organizations, including youth organizations, working on the development and implementation of strategies and projects for recovery of the country, especially at the local level;
  • Capacity building of organizations working and/or involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of plans and projects for the recovery of Ukraine at the local, regional and/or national levels, as well as facilitating the coordination of these efforts between civil society organizations and state institutions.

Eligibility

Projects should be initiated by CSOs and independent media legally registered in Ukraine, which are based or relocated to and working from Ukraine and neighboring countries. The involvement of additional local partners is encouraged,  and welcomed. The proposals cannot cover costs related to food, construction/renovations, or clothing. The cost  of expenses indicated in the budget for compensation of salaries to members of the organization's team should not exceed 40 percent of the total budget.

Application Process

Proposals will be received and evaluated on an ongoing basis.

Project proposals must be sent to [email protected] Please note the number of the priority area and short project name in the subject line of the email.

To submit a project proposal, organizations must complete the forms below in either Ukrainian or English:

Only proposals submitted using these forms will be taken into consideration.

For more information, please contact GMF program staff at [email protected]  

The Ukraine: Relief, Resilience, Recovery (U3R) program is based on the strong belief that an active citizenry, civil society organizations, and independent media are essential for the survival of a democratic Ukraine, its postwar reconstruction, and its future integration with European and transatlantic institutions. U3R provides grantmaking, capacity-building, and networking support to civic and media initiatives and organizations based in Ukraine or relocated to neighboring countries. In providing assistance, U3R prioritizes:

  • Emergency support, including relocation within Ukraine or abroad of civic initiatives, civil society organizations, and independent media
  • Social services, especially access to crucial social, health, psychological, legal, and employment assistance
  • Immediate needs of vulnerable groups, such as women, children, elderly and disabled people, LGBT+ and marginalized social populations, victims of war crimes, and internally displaced persons
  • Civic capacity, including institutional support, equipment, digitalization, training, and services for staff and volunteers
  • Media capacity, including for core operations, content creation, audience development and education, monitoring and countering disinformation, and support services for journalists
  • Reintegration of liberated areas through restoring the operations of civic and media actors, provision of public services, coordination with local and national authorities, and risk education and management
  • Youth services, especially to those traumatized by the war; post-conflict education and participation; development of a democratic national memory and identity; and contributions to designing postwar recovery plans
  • Recovery planning, including bolstering a strong role for civic and media actors in the design, implementation, and oversight of reconstruction efforts at the local, national, and international levels
  • Engagement of civil society and media in charting the path and process for Ukraine’s full European integration

Projects receiving U3R support will be typically between three and 12 months in duration, and will access funding of $20,000 on average. For detailed information and application submissions, in Ukrainian or English (or, upon request, other local languages), contact GMF staff at [email protected].

Program Experts