Switzerland supports Ukraine on its path towards peace and sustainable development. This includes working with Ukraine to build an inclusive society, where people have access to high-quality public services and equal access to education and to promote democracy and strengthen local governance. Since Russia's military invasion, Switzerland has significantly increased its support for Ukraine and remains committed to helping people affected by the conflict. It assists Ukraine by providing humanitarian aid, engaging in development cooperation and contributing to recovery efforts.

Map of Ukraine
© FDFA

Ukraine is one of the largest European countries and was also one of the poorest (measured by GDP per capita at purchasing power parity) even prior to Russia's invasion on 24 February 2022. Since 2014 the Ukrainian government has ceased to control some parts of Ukrainian territory following the armed conflict in the east of the country and the annexation of Crimea. Since Russia's invasion, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated further. Millions of people have been forced to flee the country or internally displaced.

The conflict has caused thousands of civilian casualties and considerable long-term damage to infrastructure. Ukraine has also lost a significant number of jobs and millions of people have been forced into poverty.

Ukraine is a priority country for Switzerland's international cooperation. The 2020–23 cooperation programme has been extended to include 2024, although it is heavily impacted by the conflict.

Swiss contribution on development and cooperation

Switzerland's commitment

Switzerland has been carrying out international cooperation work in Ukraine since the early 1990s. It opened a cooperation office in Kyiv in 1999 and has been supporting reform efforts ever since, including work to improve people's standard of living, make public services more efficient and promote sustainable economic growth. Switzerland's current activities are based on its 2020–23 cooperation programme, which has been extended until the end of 2024. The programme will therefore continue, subject to some adjustment, despite Russia's military aggression. Existing projects have been adapted to the present circumstances and the SDC has included a strong humanitarian component. Humanitarian work is aligned with the thematic priorities of the cooperation programme and projects are designed to complement each other to facilitate effective joint outcomes.

Humanitarian aid

In undertaking its humanitarian cooperation work in Ukraine Switzerland plays a triple role as: 

  1. a donor supporting partner organisations financially
  2. an actor implementing its own projects through the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA)
  3. an advocate to bring about compliance with international humanitarian law.

Switzerland's humanitarian programme in Ukraine is built around acute unmet needs in terms of food security, the protection of victims and victims' rights, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Some of the aid available will be used to help Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries, especially in Moldova. In addition, the SDC has sent supplies from Switzerland to address the need for healthcare, WASH and additional shelter and has purchased and distributed food on the Ukrainian market. Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) specialists have also been deployed to Ukraine since 24 February 2022.

Peace, protection and democratic institutions

In Ukraine, Switzerland is committed to strengthening democratic institutions at national and sub-national level (e.g. local authorities) and, in particular, to promoting the participation of women and vulnerable communities in political processes. It has offered to act as mediator between the parties to the conflict and to host peace talks. Switzerland is continuing its pre-2022 support for Ukrainian NGOs involved in documenting and investigating human rights abuses and is assisting the Ukrainian authorities and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in searching for and identifying missing persons. In the 2024–27 period, a CHF 100 million support package will also be used to implement humanitarian demining, protect civilians and enable farming to be resumed.

Sustainable cities

Key priorities are to promote resource-efficient and climate-friendly economic growth and improve people's quality of life in the cities. Switzerland's support is focused on three core areas: better energy management, integrated urban development and sustainable mobility.

SMEs and competitiveness

The main objective here is to achieve broad-based economic growth and, in particular, to harness the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This includes enhancing overall competitiveness and creating suitable 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 essential goal is to improve the health of the Ukrainian population. In order to achieve this, efforts are under way to improve healthcare governance and raise 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 in Ukraine, 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 work also extends to mental health services, especially for those affected by the conflict.

Approach and partners

Switzerland relies on the work of the SDC (MENA/Europe and Swiss Humanitarian Aid), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD). The majority of relief items supplied by Switzerland come from stock maintained by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport.

In addition, Switzerland makes use of its usual channels for maintaining external relations and capitalises on its role in international forums.

Switzerland works in close cooperation with local authorities, other donor countries and international organisations. All programmes are based on the principles of good governance, gender equality and equality for all social and ethnic groups.

Switzerland's key partners in Ukraine

  • Ukrainian authorities at national, regional and municipal level
  • Swiss NGOs and centres of expertise: Skat, Innovabridge, Swiss TPH, Swisscontact, Swiss Red Cross (SRC)
  • International civil society organisations (e.g. Danish Refugee Council, GIZ GmbH) and local civil society organisations (e.g. Right to Protection)
  • 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), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), World Health Organization ( WHO), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), World Food Programme (WFP)

Documents

Current projects

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Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine 2 (PFRU-2)

01.08.2024 - 31.12.2027

The Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU) unites eight development partners (UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands) and the Government of Ukraine to strengthen communities and government legitimacy through improved services, economic recovery and strengthened civil society. With its contribution, Switzerland can shape the development and deployment of an innovative multi-donor financing instrument in Ukraine to support its resilience and early recovery.


E-Governance for Accountability and Participation (EGAP), Phase 3

01.07.2024 - 30.06.2028

Digital transformation of Ukraine’s public administration significantly contributed to its resilience in the critical war conditions. Switzerland will consolidate its support to Ukraine in promoting innovative digital tools as amplifiers of democratic reforms in socially important sectors, catalysts of sustainable recovery and effective service provision to citizens and the private sector.


Integrated Protection Response Along Frontline Communities and Throughout the Displacement Corridor in Ukraine

01.05.2024 - 30.04.2026

The project engages in direct protection of civilians and aims to improve the sustainability, effectiveness and coordination of Ukrainian NGOs operating in frontline communities and along the displacement corridor in Odesa, Mykolaiv, Kherson, Kharkiv, and Donetsk Oblasts. This involves maintaining the delivery of humanitarian aid, while introducing capacity building to improve the quality and safety of the service provision, as well as preparing local actors for early recovery.


Mental Health for Ukraine (MH4U)

01.03.2024 - 29.02.2028

The Mental Health for Ukraine project is a flagship Swiss engagement which strengthens the capacity and resilience of the mental health system in a context of growing demand and resource scarcity. Switzerland renews its multi-year commitment and pursues a tailored approach addressing acute mental health needs as a consequence of the conflict. The project contributes to the overall resilience of the Ukrainian people, aligns with government priorities and supports Ukraine’s reform path.


Restoring livelihoods and revitalizing rural communities affected by mines and explosive remnants of war

01.03.2024 - 31.12.2027

Humanitarian demining is one of the priorities of Swiss international cooperation program. The Federal Council decided that a total of CHF 100 million will be earmarked for humanitarian demining for 2024-2027. SDC will contribute to the restoration of agricultural livelihood activities in areas severely impacted by the war to reduce the need for external support for rural households, small-scale farmers and local producers in three focal oblasts: Kharkivska, Mykolaivska and Khersonska.


Ukraine: Humanity and Inclusion Strengthening capacities of mine action actors

01.02.2024 - 31.12.2027

SDC will contribute to Humanity and Inclusion’s project to accelerating the effectiveness of mine action efforts through innovative Non-Technical survey, increasing awareness among the conflict-affected population about the risks of explosive ordnance, and delivering tailored victims’ assistance services to conflict-affected vulnerable people.


Innovative finance for mine action

01.11.2023 - 30.09.2024

To date an estimated 25% of Ukrainian territory has been exposed to active conflict and may be contaminated with landmines and explosive ordnances. Under the umbrella of UNDP, experts from the finance sector and the mine action sector will assess ways to involve private investors in the long-term financing of mine action in Ukraine. The UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland contribute to the financing of this study. 


Ukraine: Anti-Corruption and Asset Recovery Support Project (ACARSU)

01.10.2023 - 30.09.2026

The devastating situation caused by the ongoing Russian military aggression against Ukraine necessitates a transparent and sustainable recovery process, which gives a boost to anti-corruption reforms. Switzerland, through Basel Institute on Governance, will strengthen capacities and expertise of relevant institutions and law enforcement agencies to enhance transparency and accountability in the recovery process. In order to ensure the most efficient use of its recovery funding, Switzerland will mainstream anti-corruption approaches in its cooperation programmes in Ukraine.


Support to Principled Humanitarian Actions in Ukraine

01.10.2023 - 31.12.2025

Humanitarian needs in Ukraine remain persistent and compounded, especially in area where access is compromised due to security constraints or Russian military occupation. Switzerland is willing to support initiatives that advance practices, policies and understanding of humanitarian needs and dynamics, including improving the safety of humanitarian workers and the protection of vulnerable groups. In a highly politicized environment, a sound and principled humanitarian response needs to be upheld, coherently with Swiss humanitarian traditions.


Assistance on Nuclear Safety and Security by supporting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Expert Missions to Ukraine

20.09.2023 - 31.12.2024

Since Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) Response and Assistance Network (RANET) has provided technical assistance to Ukraine. In January 2023, the IAEA addressed to its Member States, including Switzerland, crucial extra budgetary funding needs amounting to Euro 11.8 Mio for the year 2023. This funding supports the IAEA Experts Missions to Ukraine to ensure nuclear safety and security; mitigates humanitarian protection of human live and health, disaster resilience and environmental protection.


Strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of locally led protection services

15.09.2023 - 14.09.2024

Aligned with SDC's strategic fair partnership principles and localization approaches, Switzerland aims to address existing gaps in fostering a locally-led humanitarian response and increase the outreach of protection services to a bigger number of those in need, while enhancing the quality of protection assistance provided to the most vulnerable children in Ukraine. 


Support to the Internal Displacement Solutions Fund (IDSF)

01.09.2023 - 31.07.2028

By the end of 2022, 71.1 million people were living in internal displacement worldwide, a 20 per cent increase in a year and the highest number ever recorded (IDMC 2023). Switzerland is actively supporting the implementation of the UN Secretary General’s Action Agenda on solutions to internal displacement with its different instruments. Supporting the newly established Internal Displacement Solutions Fund (IDSF) represents a game-changer in supporting joint UN country level solutions to internal displacement. 

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