Achievements in Estonia 2004-2009
More than a quarter of the funding was allocated to projects to preserve cultural heritage. This support enabled nine historical manor houses to be converted into modern educational and cultural centres as part of a national strategy to combine the preservation of historical buildings with the revitalisation of local communities. In the area of health and childcare, many projects focused on communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. More than 2 700 additional patients can now be diagnosed or treated each year thanks to upgraded facilities and new equipment. Estonia has the highest rate of HIV cases in Europe. The Communicable Diseases Clinic in West-Tallinn Central Hospital (WTCH), the national reference centre for HIV and AIDS, has been extensively renovated, improving both safety and conditions for patients.
With the funds for environmental protection and sustainable development, CO2 emissions have been reduced by 74 000 tonnes per year while biodegradable waste to landfill has been cut by 85 000 tonnes annually. This is mainly the result of replacing oil-shale with waste for energy purposes at a cement factory in Kunda, although the Estonian municipality of Lihula has also received support to replace oil-shale with renewable bio-fuels as a source for energy production.
Three funds were supported in Estonia: a regional development fund to strengthen the effi ciency and quality of public services at local and regional level; an NGO Fund to strengthen civil society’s work on democracy, human rights, environment and regional policy; and an academic research fundwhich contributed to 11 PhDs. Within the justice sector, Norway supported a project to develop and implement basic skills and vocational skills programmes for inmates aged 14-26, and to train staff in order to improve the reintegration of inmates into society. This was one of four projects in Estonia implemented in partnership with Norwegian entities.