Vigdis Nygaard & Larissa Riabova

This commentary presents the results of a study on volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic in two neighbouring regions in the Arctic –– Troms og Finnmark county in Norway and Murmansk oblast in Russia. Our research shows that volunteering is one of the most efficient crisis response tools and that it adds indispensable value to reducing the workload of public health and social care institutions in promoting health and well-being for vulnerable groups. In both Norway and Russia, responses to the pandemic included the rise of the volunteer movement, but volunteering has different traditions and scopes in the two countries. Established NGOs in Troms og Finnmark ounty took on new responsibilities for vulnerable groups. Such organizations were less developed in Murmansk oblast, and new volunteer structures in the form of united regional and municipal volunteer centres were quickly established in addition to existing organizations.

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