Achievements in Lithuania 2004-2009
More than any other country, Lithuania chose to target the funding in this period on health and childcare projects. Efforts focused on early diagnostics and prevention of diseases such as cancer. Lithuania is among the countries battling the highest cancer rates in the EU. With support from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, key diagnostic and treatment equipment has been purchased for the country’s six major medical institutions, bringing them to the forefront of new cancer diagnostic and treatment techniques.
Another priority has been to improve the conditions for children in public care, including foster homes and day-care centres. Vilnius University Hospital has partnered with Oslo University Hospital to provide quality health services to children suffering from heart diseases. It was estimated that 1 500 medical staff would be trained and the capacity to diagnose and treat patients increased by 53 600 in this sector. Cancer was also targeted through research projects. In a special project, facilities were improved and training put in place for the adolescent inmates at a correctional facility for juveniles in Kaunas, the only facility of its kind in the country.
Close to one-fifth of the funding went to cultural heritage projects which helped preserve a number of historical buildings, such as manor houses, churches and forts, wooden architecture and traditional crafts and technologies, making unique parts of the Lithuanian cultural heritage more accessible to tourists and the general public.
Within Schengen and the judiciary, efforts focused on combating cross-border crime and improving the penitentiary system through training. Training also played a central part in human resources development, in order to improve public service provision, assist children in need, and the integration of vulnerable groups.
Two regional policy fundswere established, one targeting regional development and reduced disparities, and one focusing on the transfer of experience and strengthening of cooperation among local and regional partners in Lithuania and Norway. The Lithuanian NGO Fund provided vital support for the chronically underfunded civil society, supporting over 100 projects in sustainable development, strengthening democracy and capacity-building in civil society in general. Norwegian entities were involved in eight partnership projects within the fi elds of health and childcare, human resource development and environmental protection.