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

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 32

Policy Dialogue for better Health Governance in Ukraine

A woman is at the doctor's.

01.12.2015 - 30.11.2019

This project aims to strengthen the Ukrainian health ministry's authority and expertise in order to best manage the reforms underway in this sector. In particular, priorities will be defined more clearly and public policy which meets the specific health needs of the population will be drawn up and implemented.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Health
Health system strengthening
Health system strengthening
HEALTH
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management
Health policy and administrative management

01.12.2015 - 30.11.2019


CHF 1'850'000



Contribution to the Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine 2015-2017

Three specialists from a regional office supporting the decentralisation reform in Ukraine taking part in a training course in Kyiv in November 2015.

01.09.2015 - 31.12.2017

The «Decentralisation and Territorial Consolidation in Ukraine» project offers technical and practical support to the Ukrainian authorities in implementing the decentralisation reform which involves merging municipalities. The reform should eventually allow municipalities to operate more efficiently and to provide citizens with good-quality public services.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.09.2015 - 31.12.2017


CHF 2'400'000



Restoration of Governance and Reconciliation in Crisis-Affected Communities of Ukraine

Map of the Ukraine

10.02.2015 - 31.01.2018

The SDC is supporting a United Nations project in the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts that have been affected by the conflict and are still under the control of the national government. The aim is to restore local governance and support dialogue between the various stakeholders with a view to strengthening social cohesion and economic development. This is the first major international initiative aiming at rebuilding the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Civilian peace-building and conflict resolution

10.02.2015 - 31.01.2018


CHF 1'500'000



Public Private Partnership to Improved Sanitary Education in Ukraine

Two plumbers are cutting a pipe with a machine in a workshop.

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2018

This public-private partnership, developed in collaboration with the company Geberit, aims to improve vocational training in the field of sanitary technology in Ukraine, which will provide more employment opportunities for young plumbers. A new model will be developed to achieve this, based more on practical training and market needs, and will be tested in pilot schools before being rolled out across the country with support from the Ministry of Education.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Education
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Vocational training and skills development
WATER AND SANITATION
EDUCATION
MULTISECTOR or CROSS-CUTTING
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation
Vocational training
Multisector aid

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2018


CHF 400'000



Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Health Promotion in Ukraine

Children are skipping rope

01.10.2013 - 31.05.2019

Unhealthy lifestyles and a health system that is often not up to scratch means that a higher than average number of people die from noncommunicable diseases in Ukraine in comparison with other countries. An SDC project run over several years seeks to improve this situation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Health
Non-communicable diseases, incl. Mental health
HEALTH
Medical services

01.10.2013 - 31.05.2019


CHF 3'805'000



Development of Citizenship Competences in Ukraine

Women holding a discussion around a table covered in notebooks and brochures.

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2018

The DOCCU Project aims at supporting Ukraine in implementation of the Council of Europe’s Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship/Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE) through dissemination of knowledge on EDC/HRE in Ukraine. This will be achieved via in-service practical trainings on EDC/HRE for civil servants and officials of local governments as well as for teachers and school principals.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2018


CHF 1'640'000



E-Governance for Accountability and Participation in Ukraine

Employees sitting at a row of workstations each talking to a client.

01.06.2013 - 31.03.2019

Corruption and difficulty accessing information are major problems for the people of Ukraine. The SDC is seeking to improve this situation and strengthen public confidence in the Ukrainian administration through its "E-Governance for Accountability and Participation" project.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)

01.06.2013 - 31.03.2019


CHF 4'750'000



Support to Decentralization in Ukraine

Water supply in an Ukrainian village.

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017

More than 20 years after gaining independence, Ukraine remains a highly centralised state. In addition to its work to promote better local services, in particular in the area of water, Switzerland provides support for decentralisation at the national level by helping to draw up legislation based on experience gained through the DESPRO project.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine
Water
Decentralisation - local governance - democratization (incl. accountability)
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
WATER AND SANITATION
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Basic drinking water supply and basic sanitation

01.05.2013 - 31.12.2017


CHF 9'330'000



Promoting Mother and Child Health in Ukraine

A smiling mother cradling her newborn baby in her arms.

01.05.2011 - 31.12.2017

The SDC has supported the health sector in Ukraine since 1997 with a project to promote mother and child health. In cooperation with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel, it was determined that women in Ukraine needed support during pregnancy and birth, and healthcare in this area was improved.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ukraine

Ivano-Frankivsk, Volyn, Vinnytsya and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea

Health
Health system strengthening
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management

01.05.2011 - 31.12.2017


CHF 6'290'000



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.


Supporting the Medical Education Reform in Ukraine

01.05.2017 - 31.10.2018

Switzerland supports with this intervention the Ministry of Health (A.) to improve the quality of the medical education system for primary healthcare staff (doctors and nurses) and (B.) to strengthen professional competences of healthcare managers. The objective is to improve the overall primary healthcare services provision in Ukraine and to have a positive impact on the health status of the population.


Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation (Kredit Ost)

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2018

Helvetas s’engage avec ses partenaires pour un développement librement déterminé de personnes et de communautés défavorisées dans les pays en développement et apporte une aide à s’aider par soi-même. Helvetas favorise l’accès équitable aux ressources vitales et la protection des droits sociaux, économiques, politiques, environnementaux et culturels.

Object 1 – 12 of 32