Livelihood Assistance Program for Eastern Ukraine

Project completed

This program assists conflict-affected persons in eastern Ukraine to generate income through selfentrepreneurship or employment, enabling them to cover acute needs and to decrease dependence on humanitarian assistance or state social benefits. The capacities of regional employment centers to deliver effective services to job seekers are strengthened, and proposals for a better regulatory environment for economic development and improved access to business loans will be submitted.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Conflict prevention
01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020
CHF  2’016’000
Background Ukraine continues to live through a period of political transition, economic weakness and insecurity. Overall reform implementation is rather slow, the fight against corruption lags well behind expectations, and poverty is on the rise. The Donbas economy has been negatively impacted by the conflict, and the region’s domestic and foreign markets have shrunk. The regional businesses also suffer from a fragile banking system, poor access to credit, and unfavorable business regulations. The disruption of market linkages and the security situation forced many businesses to close down or move their operations elsewhere. The conflict has caused significant damage to key aspects of economic infrastructure (roads, power stations, communication). According to surveys, almost one-fifth of households have lost employment, and due to increased prices for basic food items and commodities they can barely meet their essential needs. The situation is especially difficult for the population living in the areas located close to the contact line. Almost half of the unemployed persons are interested in skills development. Regional Employment Centers, however, offer a very limited range of trainings to the unemployed, and businesses in turn reported skills gaps that make recruitment difficult. The Government of Ukraine is considering the adoption of a State Targeted Program for Recovery and Peacebuilding in the eastern Regions of Ukraine.
Objectives IDPs and conflict-affected persons in eastern Ukraine achieve durable livelihood solutions through better access to income generation opportunities, strengthened government capacity and improved business regulations.
Target groups At the national level, DRC liaises closely with the Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs (MTOT) and the National Employment Centre. Both at national and regional levels DRC participates in relevant coordination fora with other livelihood actors operating in Ukraine to ensure a quick and effective exchange of information, divide operational areas, exchange lessons learnt and develop common advocacy messages. DRC works with regional and local authorities (in particular also the civil-military administrations of Donetsk and Luhansk regions) and with the employment service centers and social protection departments. The program also cooperates with the Donetsk and Luhansk Chambers of Commerce.
Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1: IDPs and conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine benefit from stable income via self-employment and access to jobs.

Outcome 2: Regional employment centers provide improved services via vocational education, strengthened institutional capacity and policy change.


Expected results:  

- At least 600 persons assisted through microbusiness grants, with the priority given to those businesses that empower and/or provide protection to women.

- At least 250 new jobs created for IDPs and conflict affected people by working with the SME sector, ensuring that at least 60% of the jobs created are made available for women.

- At least 500 IDPs and conflict affected people supported to acquire new skills and become more competitive on the job market.

- At least 2 Regional Employment Centers and their outlets improved capacity to deliver more effective services to unemployed IDPs and the conflict-affected population;

- At least 100 Regional Employment Centre staff received needs based training.  At least 3 priority advocacy issues affecting business and employment identified, solutions developed and shared with national policy makers.

Results from previous phases:   N/A 

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss cooperation with Eastern Europe
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
  • Other international or foreign NGO North

Other partners
Danish Refugee Council (DRC)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    2’016’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’843’601
Project phases Phase 5 01.08.2024 - 31.12.2027   (Active) Phase 4 01.02.2022 - 31.03.2024   (Completed) Phase 2 01.12.2018 - 31.01.2022   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020   (Completed)