Ukraine

Switzerland supports Ukraine on its path towards peace and sustainable development by building an inclusive society where all women and men equally contribute to and benefit from public integrity and sustainable growth. Switzerland therefore engages in peacebuilding and assists Ukraine in implementing major reforms.

Map of Ukraine
© FDFA

Ukraine is a context of deep contrasts, being at the same time one of the largest but also among the poorest countries (measured by GDP per capita at purchasing power parity) in Europe. Ukraine has also considerable economic potential, while parts of its territory have remained outside government control for more than 5 years due to armed conflict and annexation: since fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, over 13,000 people were killed and an estimated 1.4 million (2019) are displaced from their homes. Switzerland has been working to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group negotiations in Minsk. Moreover, Switzerland believes that the Russian Federation's continued annexation of the Crimean Peninsula since March 2014 contravenes national and international law and goes against the territorial integrity.

Following the 'Euromaidan' or 'Revolution of Dignity' in 2013/2014, reforms in Ukraine have been strongly encouraged and considerable progress was achieved, for example in relation to decentralisation, healthcare, education as well as the energy and banking sectors. After presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2019, the new government reiterated its willingness to pursue the reform process, which indicates that the country is firmly moving towards Euro-Atlantic standards. For that to materialize, it is essential that Ukraine continues the crackdown on corruption, since this is a necessary step to uphold and improve confidence in public institutions.

Swiss commitment

Switzerland has been involved in cooperation activities in Ukraine since the 1990s and opened a cooperation office in Kyiv in 1999. It has been supporting reform efforts ever since, including contributions to improve the living standards of the local population and to more efficient public service delivery and by promoting sustainable economic growth. Switzerland's current activities are based on its cooperation programme for 2020–23, which defines four areas of intervention under the responsibility of respective units within Swiss Federal Administration.

Local governance and peacebuilding

Peace, protection and democratic institutions

Efforts are focused on facilitating a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, for example, by seconding experts to the negotiations of the Trilateral Contact Group. Peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and protection measures, combined with governance reforms, aim to achieve the overarching objectives of finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict, ensuring compliance with international law, promoting human rights and strengthening democracy. Switzerland is engaging in dialogue and undertaking diplomatic efforts both at bilateral and multilateral level to ensure progress in and eventually the success of these initiatives. Action will be taken to raise public awareness of human rights and international humanitarian law. The Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Confederation, acting in an independent and impartial capacity, will continue to be active on both sides of the contact line in eastern Ukraine. Further objectives include strengthening democratic institutions at national and sub-national level (e.g. local authorities) in the government controlled areas and, in particular, encouraging women and vulnerable groups to participate in political processes.

Sustainable economic development

Sustainable cities

The main priorities in this area are accelerating a resource efficient and climate friendly economic growth, as well as improving quality of life in the cities. Better energy management, integrated urban development and sustainable mobility form the cornerstones of Switzerland's contribution. This multi-dimensional approach to promoting a green economy should in the long term make Ukraine's cities more attractive to local population and investors.

SMEs and competitiveness

The main objective of this area of intervention is to achieve broad-based economic growth and, in particular, to harness the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This involves enhancing overall competitiveness and creating suitable framework conditions. Switzerland's efforts in this area are focused on integrating the products of agricultural SMEs into sustainable value chains and facilitating access to financial services, which includes working with the financial sector to develop innovative financial products. Switzerland is also assisting national authorities in implementing economic legislation reforms and creating a pro-competitive regulatory environment.

Health

The overarching objective is to improve the health status of the Ukrainian population, with a particular focus on those affected by the conflict. In order to achieve this, efforts are undertaken to improve health governance and the quality of primary care while keeping costs to a minimum. The programme also seeks to improve public awareness of health in general.

It also promotes healthier lifestyles and increased life expectancy of the Ukrainian population, especially among men, young adults and children by actively involving civil society, strengthening local communities, delivering improvements in health services, and promoting a greater awareness of health issues. Switzerland's cooperation targets eastern Ukraine, including communities affected by the conflict, and it therefore includes interventions in the mental health domain.

Health

Approach and partners

Switzerland's commitment relies on the work of the SDC, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the FDFA's Human Security Division (HSD) and SDC Humanitarian Aid. Furthermore, Switzerland uses its foreign affairs apparatus and its role in international bodies as leverage.

Switzerland works closely with local authorities, other donor countries, and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF). All programmes are based on the principles of good governance and gender, social and ethnic equality.

Switzerland's key partners in Ukraine:

  • Ukrainian authorities at national, regional and municipal level
    International and local civil society organisations (Danish Refugee Council, GIZ GmbH)
  • International organisations: International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD),
  • International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Council of Europe, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)
  • Swiss NGOs and competence centres: Skat, Innovabridge, Swiss TPH

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 29

Improving transparency and reducing corruption through e-governance in Ukraine

EGAP

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The people of Ukraine are regularly confronted with the problems of corruption and difficulties in accessing information. With the 'E-Governance for Accountability and Participation' (EGAP) programme, the SDC is working to improve this situation and help strengthen citizens' trust in Ukraine's public administration.


Reducing risk-factors for Non-Communicable Diseases in Ukraine (opening phase)

01.05.2019 - 31.10.2020

Non-communicable diseases are the main cause of mortality and morbidity in Ukraine incurring significant economic costs of inaction. Non-communicable diseases are determined by risk factors, which can be considerably reduced. This invervention aims at creating a conducive policy and regulatory framework for NCDs prevention, increasing preventive care at primary level and at improving health literacy and reducing behavorial risk factors among the population. 


United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2020

The protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine and its devastating effect on the civilian population requires a continued comprehensive international human rights monitoring and engagement with relevant actors. The presence and impartial work of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission helps to identify human rights gaps and concerns in Ukraine with a special focus on the east and Crimea. The mission formulates specific recommendations for shaping state policies and international assistance programs.


Programme contribution to Brot für alle / Bread for all 2019-2020

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2020

Bread for all (Bfa), the development organization of the protestant churches of Switzerland, has aligned its mandate with the Agenda 2030. Through a network of ten faith-based organizations active in partner countries, Bfa supports disadvantaged people to access Food Security, Education and Health. It also strengthens communities in peacebuilding and conflict transformation, while furthering the social responsibility of Swiss stakeholders.


Asset Recovery Support Project

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2021

Systemic corruption, including the illegal appropriation of public assets by political-business elites has afflicted Ukraine for over two decades. Given the impetus for reforms following the Maidan revolution in 2014, as well as the large quantities of Ukrainian assets frozen in Swiss banks, Switzerland sees an opportunity to facilitate the return of public assets to Ukraine. This project provides technical assistance to strengthen Ukrainian authorities’ capacities in asset recovery. 


Recovery and stabilization support to Eastern Ukraine: Good Governance and Citizens' Engagement

01.12.2018 - 31.01.2022

The conflict in Eastern Ukraine has put a massive toll on key public infrastructure. 20% of active households have experienced employment loss and reduced livelihoods, and thousands of families have been separated from their relatives across the contact line. This contribution to the UN-led Recovery and Peacebuilding program aims at strengthening the capacities of regional and local governments to make more effective use of increased funding for addressing pressing recovery needs, supporting local dialogue and trust building.


Public Private Development Partnership to improved Plumbing Education in Ukraine

01.10.2018 - 28.02.2023

The mismatch of skills and qualifications with the needs of the economy remains an important cause of low productivity in Ukraine. This Public Private Development Partnership aims at improving the quality and relevance of vocational education and training for plumbers. Improved skills and knowledge tailored to the needs of the market will contribute to increase employability and incomes of young people.


Mental Health for All

01.04.2018 - 30.09.2023

In Ukraine, socio-economic factors, the protracted conflict, coupled with an oudated mental health care system result in a high prevalence and poor treatment of mental health disorders. This project supports the implementation of reforms in the mental healthcare sector by improving framework conditions, piloting integrated, communiry-based models of care and providing psychosocial support to communities affected by the ongoing conflict. 


Support to Decentralization in Ukraine (DESPRO)

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland’s continued support to decentralization and local governance reform in Ukraine builds upon the good results achieved in previous phases. By strengthening capacities of the key national reform stakeholders and improving national policies, SDC will contribute to further advancing the reform. Local governments will be capacitated to effectively use newly transferred competences and resources to provide quality public services (in particular water supply & sanitation and solid waste management) to citizens.


Livelihood Assistance Program for Eastern Ukraine

01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020

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.


Supporting the Medical Education Reform in Ukraine

01.05.2017 - 30.11.2022


A profound health reform is underway in Ukraine. The currently ill-prepared medical education system is a fundamental component of it. Training curricula are outdated and teaching staff lack essentials skills, capacities and motivation. This project supports the reform of the medical education system for family doctors and nurses, and the strengthening of competencies of healthcare managers. As a result, significant quality improvements of health care delivered to the population are expected.


Support Reforms and Good Governance in the Health System in Ukraine

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

SDC supports the ongoing health reform aiming at tackling the root causes of the poor health status of Ukrainian population. This project leverages and strengthens the impact of a World Bank loan which intends to improve the quality and efficiency of health care services in selected regions.

Object 1 – 12 of 29