School children in Kherson will benefit from Norway's contribution. Photo: Patrik Rastenberger

The Norwegian Government has pledged an additional NOK 2.1 million to the Nordic Energy Efficiency and Humanitarian Support Initiative (NIU). The purpose of the fund, which is administered by NEFCO, is to finance upgrades to the municipal infrastructure in areas that have been badly affected by the armed conflict in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

Approximately 1.5 million internally displaced people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the armed conflict in Ukraine. The situation places a burden on a number of cities that need help upgrading day-care centres, health centres and schools to accommodate new inhabitants.

In practice, NEFCO provides grants to municipalities that in turn invest the funds in upgraded individual heating substations, new windows and doors, better insulation and improved lighting in municipally owned buildings. In some cases the fund has provided grants for the construction of new energy-efficient school buildings to prepare the way for internally displaced children.

Over 4,500 children at day-care centres and almost 9,000 school pupils have so far benefited from this humanitarian programme, which is financed by the Nordic countries.

“We are very pleased by the additional Norwegian contribution to this fund as this will enable us to provide stronger support for upcoming humanitarian energy-efficiency projects to be implemented in Ukraine,” says Senior Investment Manager Amund Beitnes at NEFCO.