Ukraine

Switzerland is committed to promoting internal cohesion in Ukraine, including democratic governance and sustainable social and economic development. Its active involvement extends to governance and peacebuilding, improvements in healthcare, the prevention of non-communicable diseases, energy efficiency, and sustainable urban and economic development. Switzerland provides humanitarian assistance through direct interventions and as part of international relief efforts.

Map of Ukraine
© FDFA

Ukraine, in addition to being one of the largest countries in Europe, is also among its poorest. Independent since 1991, this former Soviet republic has been in deep crisis since the outbreak of armed conflict in 2014 – with thousands dead, one and a half million displaced persons, massive destruction to infrastructure in the industrialised east of the country, a critical humanitarian situation and an economic depression with serious social repercussions. Yet in political terms, the regime change in Kiev and the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU are a chance to press ahead with necessary political reforms.

Switzerland wishes to grasp this opportunity as a neutral protagonist. As formulated in the current cooperation strategy, Switzerland is working towards strengthening internal cohesion in Ukraine, including democratic governance and sustainable social and economic development. Switzerland's commitment applies to the whole of Ukraine, placing particular focus – whenever possible and appropriate – on those areas of the country affected by the conflict and taking special account of minorities and poor, vulnerable sections of the population.

Local governance and peacebuilding

Furthering the process of decentralisation

An administration that operates efficiently is one that offers its services to all citizens and allows them a say in political matters. Committed to this objective, Switzerland has long been active in Ukraine in relation to the issues of decentralisation and local governance. The government's ongoing decentralisation reform addresses pressing matters such as the division of powers, the dismantling of centralised structures, improvements in efficiency and the fight against corruption. Switzerland supports this reform at all levels.

De-escalating the conflict and bridging divisions

During its OSCE Chairmanship in 2014, Switzerland launched various initiatives to resolve the conflict that had broken out. Wishing to continue what it has started in a coherent manner, Switzerland maintains its support of these initiatives, which, for example, include the Trilateral Contact Group and the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission.

The FDFA's Human Security Division (HSD)

  • advocates political dialogue as a means of stimulating relations between conflicting parties;
  • draws attention to human rights and humanitarian law obligations;
  • is committed to ensuring that all relevant protagonists are involved in important decision-making processes.

Dealing with the past has also been recognised as a key issue. Switzerland is addressing antagonisms that led to the conflict and working towards a gradual process of de-escalation in order to find a lasting solution.

Health

Following a long and successful involvement in the area of perinatal healthcare, Switzerland is shifting its focus to improving basic medical care.

Affordable and accessible basic healthcare

Switzerland is assisting the Ukrainian authorities in both drawing up and implementing healthcare reforms. Health services must be affordable and accessible for all. This especially applies to vulnerable groups of the population, which is why particular attention is being paid to areas of the country with large numbers of internally displaced persons and victims of the conflict.

Prevention of non-communicable diseases

The prevention of non-communicable diseases represents another focal point. Promoting healthier lifestyles, along with preventive measures, will help to curb diseases such as cancer and diabetes, as well as cardiovascular diseases and respiratory disorders.

Health 

Energy efficiency and sustainable urban development

Less consumption thanks to sustainable urban development

Ukraine needs to be more autonomous in meeting its energy needs and more efficient in its energy consumption. Switzerland is addressing this objective from the twin perspective of energy consumers on the one hand and energy suppliers on the other. Energy-efficient technologies and sophisticated urban development strategies will help to reduce energy consumption.

Clean and efficient production

Cost-effective, reliable and sustainable basic energy provision is, in turn, the objective on the supply side. This involves the business and industrial sectors, as well as the population at large, having good access to state schemes that enhance energy efficiency. More efficient production expends fewer resources and helps to improve the quality of life among the local population.

Sustainable economic development

Private sector development and financial services

The Ukrainian economy, which relies a great deal on agriculture and heavy industry, has been contracting since the 2008 financial crisis and in a critical state since the conflict began in 2014. Aside from the violent conflict and its effects, bureaucratic red tape, widespread corruption, a lack of diversification, a weak financial system and the faltering process of modernisation are impeding progress.

The private sector as a complement to industry and agriculture

Small and medium-sized enterprises play a key part in Switzerland's strategy. They are being provided with easier access to financial services, afforded an improved regulatory environment and equipped with the requisite business management skills. Suitable financial products are being designed in collaboration with financial institutions, and authorities are being given the impetus to push through wide-ranging reforms with regard to economic legislation and conditions for investment. A strong private sector acting within a global context offers a possible way out of the crisis.

Humanitarian aid

Support for international organisations

Since the conflict erupted in Ukraine at the beginning of 2014, SDC Humanitarian Aid has been working on both sides of the contact line in government and non-government-controlled areas. Initially, its focus has been on providing multilateral organisations active on both sides of the contact line (UNHCR, WFP, ICRC) with financial and personnel support.

In 2015, Humanitarian Aid is providing additional funding for four humanitarian lines of action that will benefit people in need.

Emergency assistance to those in greatest need

Via partner organisation People in Need, Humanitarian Aid provides emergency assistance, e.g. the repair of damaged homes, to those in greatest need. In addition to products for purifying drinking water, Switzerland delivers medicines and medical consumables to the non-government-controlled area and medical instruments to the government-controlled part of the country.

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. The country's OCSE Chairmanship in 2014 and its participation in the Troika alongside Chairmanship holders Serbia (2015) and Germany (2016) are of particular note.

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 (e.g. People in Need and swisspeace)
  • 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 Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme (WFP), 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: Skat, Innovabridge

Current projects

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E-Governance for Accountability and Participation (EGAP)

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

EGAP Programme through modern e-governance and e-democracy tools contributes to a more effective and integrity-based public administration and service delivery, benefitting both citizens and businesses, to higher transparency and accountability of national and local authorities towards citizens, and to the formation of a new political culture characterized by citizens’ responsibility, competence and activism.


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.


Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.


Contributions to OCHA Field Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

OCHA’s mission is to coordinate the global emergency response, to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises. OCHA advocates for effective and principled humanitarian action by all, for all, in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in sudden-onset disasters and protracted crises. It is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent and timely response to emergencies. Therefore, SDC seeks to provide support to OCHA field and regional offices in relevant humanitarian contexts, in line with SDC geographic and thematic priorities.


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 - 31.10.2022

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.

Object 1 – 12 of 16