We are happy to announce that the United States has contributed close to $250,000 to benefit ICCROM’s efforts in building Ukrainian professionals’ capacities to safeguard and recover their cultural heritage. The funding is part of the US Department of State’s $7 million investment in its recently announced Ukraine Cultural Heritage Response Initiative.
With this grant, we will work closely with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy and the Heritage Emergency Response Initiative (HERI) of Ukraine to conduct systematic damage and risk assessments at endangered heritage places using our app and produce a GIS-based risk map to guide onsite security and stabilization actions and make risk-informed choices. ICCROM Director-General Webber Ndoro extends his thanks to the Honourable Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko, Deputy Minister for Culture and Information Policy Kateryna Chuyeva and the Director of Maidan Museum, Ihor Poshyailo for working with ICCROM.
Led by Senior Programme Leader Aparna Tandon and Programme Assistant Jui Ambani, ICCROM's First Aid and Resilience for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAR) programme will amplify these actions through in-field training supported by the European Commission’s Directorate-General on Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (EAC), in close coordination with our partners in Ukraine, including the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, the Maidan Museum and HERI, as well as UNESCO and ICOMOS International.
ICCROM thanks the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) for the first tranche of funding, which will enable us to implement phase one of our four-phase strategy for developing capacities for crisis response and recovery of heritage in Ukraine. This strategy was developed by the FAR team based on the findings from the assessment mission, which was jointly undertaken by ICCROM-ICOMOS in July 2022. We look forward to working closely with AFCP Programme Director Martin Perschler and US Embassy to Ukraine in Kyiv Grant Officer Glen Davis.
Following the announcement of the grant, on 30 March 2023, the US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome organized an event for members of the Rome-based diplomatic corps to learn more about ICCROM’s preservation efforts in Ukraine and the important role ICCROM plays in safeguarding cultural heritage in times of crisis.
In addition to the United States and Ukraine, we were joined by ICCROM Member States Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Monaco and South Africa.
We shared about the FAR programme and our ongoing efforts to recover damaged cultural heritage in Ukraine. There was a photo exhibit that showed before and after photos of damaged cultural heritage, courtesy of the Ukrainian Institute, and an interactive demonstration of our custom app, which assesses risk and damage of cultural heritage sites.
The FAR programme has been increasingly called upon to help enhance capacities for risk prevention and emergency preparedness, response and recovery. In the last seven years, we have responded to large-scale emergencies in 16 countries and have developed a network of 1 000 cultural first aiders spanning over 120 countries.
FAR has been training teams of cultural first aiders in Ukraine since 2014, and our efforts have amplified in the past year. ICCROM’s Council adopted a resolution in May 2022 recognizing the urgent need to protect and safeguard cultural heritage in Ukraine. Since then, FAR has taken multiple steps to respond, such as developing an app for damage and risk assessment and conducting a technical mission to Ukraine in July 2022.
During the event, ICCROM Director-General Dr Webber Ndoro thanked the United States for its continued partnership and outlined the challenge ahead as well as ICCROM’s commitment to work alongside Ukraine to preserve its historical monuments:
“With the United States’ generous contribution, we will be able to conduct the first phase of our long-term plan, working closely with the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine to enhance capacities for crisis response and recover Ukraine’s cultural heritage – especially for the most vulnerable communities.”
“ICCROM – as an intergovernmental organization, drawing on a global network of cultural heritage experts – is well-positioned to help Ukraine strengthen its emergency response and long-term strategy to safeguard cultural heritage,” said Rodney Hunter, the host for the evening and US Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome Chargé d’Affaires.
Alternate Permanent Representative of Ukraine Yuryi Grynevetskyi expressed gratitude to both the United States and ICCROM for their steadfast commitment to preserving his country’s past for future generations.
We sincerely thank the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State, the US Embassy in Kyiv and the US Ambassadors Fund, the US Mission to the United Nations in Rome, and Chargé d’Affaires Mr Rodney Hunter for hosting the event. ICCROM is deeply grateful for the crucial support of the United States and its commitment to safeguarding heritage.
To learn more about the project, write to the FAR programme at email@example.com
To support our actions in Ukraine, write to firstname.lastname@example.org