Assessing the needs of living heritage safeguarding among displaced communities from Ukraine in five neighboring countries: Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia

  • Project budget:
    • US$ 57,800
  • Source:
    • Heritage Emergency Fund
  • Dates of implementation:
    • 01/04/2022 - 01/09/2022

Benefitting country(ies): Hungary, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine


In April 2022, UNESCO launched a community-based needs identification for safeguarding living heritage among communities, groups and individuals from Ukraine displaced by the war. Focus was given to five neighbouring countries, which were receiving most refugees in the first weeks and months of the war: Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The project was developed following the recommendations of the first coordination meeting in support of safeguarding Ukrainian living heritage, organized by UNESCO online on 18 March 2022.
In line with the 2003 Convention’s Operational principles and modalities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies, the project recognized the central role of communities in identifying how their living heritage might be affected by the war and what measures are needed to safeguard it, as well as how they might draw on it as a resource for enhancing their resilience and well-being.
The project established five working teams, led by the respective Country Focal Points for the 2003 Convention in the five countries concerned. Coordinated by the Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, Slovakia, the research teams included the Hungarian Open Air Museum in Szentendre, Hungary; the National Institute of the Cultural Heritage in Warsaw, Poland; the National Committee ICOM Moldova in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova; and the Institute of Romanian Philology ‘A. Philippide’, Romanian Academy in Iasi, Romania. After having agreed a joint methodology, each of the teams conducted desk research and field work using a community-based approach. The research aimed at identifying and addressing the safeguarding needs of communities, groups and individuals from Ukraine temporarily displaced in the neighbouring countries.
Based on the identified needs, in cooperation with the communities concerned, each project team proposed a series of concrete actions to further support displaced communities in their safeguarding efforts. One activity per country was then selected and elaborated into a project proposal with view for possible submission to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for funding under the International Assistance mechanism (up to $US100,000). The final summary report will be available on UNESCO’s webpage in February 2023 in English and Ukrainian.

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