The event took place in the premises of the Radisson Blu Hotel (22 Yaroslaviv Val Street).
The welcoming words were addressed by the Swiss Ambassador to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova Mr. Christian Schönenberger and by honourable guests representing Ukrainian authorities, i.e. Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Municipal Economy of Ukraine Mr. Hennadiy Zubko, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Mrs. Yuliya Kovaliv, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Mrs. Vladyslava Rutytska, and Deputy Minister of Health of Ukraine Mr. Ihor Perehinets. The Ukrainian high-level guests, who represent the key national partners for the Swiss Cooperation Strategy 2015-2018 highlighted the relevance and the effectiveness of the Swiss assistance provided to Ukraine. They also expressed their gratitude to the Swiss Confederation for the long-term and productive cooperation.
Afterwards, the Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Ukraine Mr. Guido Beltrani presented the new Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Ukraine 2015-2018 and highlighted its most important aspects.
Switzerland provides technical, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine since almost 20 years, in line with the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Swiss Confederation and the Government of Ukraine on Technical and Financial Cooperation, signed on October 13, 1997 and ratified on May 14, 1999.
Switzerland's support generated a relevant and tangible impact in the past. Results achieved during 2011-2014 thanks to Swiss funded projects are, among others: (i) the living conditions of 120’000 inhabitants of rural areas of Ukraine have been enhanced thanks to more responsive local authorities and improved local services, in particular water supply and solid waste management; (ii) the infant mortality rate decreased on average from 9‰ to 5.5‰ in those regions of Ukraine supported by Swiss funded health projects; (iii) the municipal energy efficiency in the city of Vinnytsia improved considerably and Vinnytsia was rewarded as the first Ukrainian city with the European Energy Award for its efforts in this area; (iv) 11’000 small and medium agribusinesses in Ukraine are able to save 100 million USD annually thanks to a simplified business environment, e.g. the cancellation of the mandatory certification of grain quality and grain silos. The support provided during 2011-2014 amounted to CHF 57 million. For the period 2015-2018, Switzerland has decided to increase its support to Ukraine with an estimated contribution of CHF 100 million for the four years.
During 2015-2018, Switzerland is committed to promoting cohesion, inclusive democratic governance and sustainable social and economic development in Ukraine. In line with this overall goal, Switzerland will focus its support on the following domains: governance (in particular decentralization) and peacebuilding, health, energy efficiency and economic development. Therefore, Switzerland is strengthening its support in those areas where it has been active until now and has achieved tangible results, while on the same time it will also support the new reform agenda of Ukraine and promote peaceful solutions to the on-going armed conflict. Additionally, Switzerland provides humanitarian assistance to Ukraine through direct interventions and as part of international relief efforts.
While parts of the Swiss strategy will be implemented countrywide, special attention will be given to those areas of the country affected by the armed conflict and to vulnerable people.