Switzerland to step up its commitment to Ukraine

Municipal employees receive residents for consultation in an office.
Switzerland will further pursue and strengthen Swiss support for the private sector. (A small farm company in the Ukrainian Carpathians.) © SECO

Peace promotion, humanitarian aid and sustainable urban planning are new components of Switzerland's strategy on cooperation with Ukraine for the period from 2015 to 2018.  In addition Switzerland plans to build on tried and tested elements of its support in the areas of healthcare, decentralisation, energy efficiency and the private sector.

Switzerland's new strategy on cooperation with Ukraine for 2015–2018 continues its engagement in the country to date and at the same time expands its field of activity.  The new dimensions respond to two central developments: the change in the situation as a result of the armed conflict in the country and the government's efforts to carry out reforms.

The activities planned in each of Switzerland's four areas of activity thus respond to the conflict and its consequences. They will be carried out, as before, by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) of the FDFA and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). In addition, the Human Security Division (HSD) of the FDFA and Swiss Humanitarian Aid, part of the SDC, will now participate in implementing the strategy:

  • Governance and peacebuilding
    A peacebuilding dimension will now be added to Switzerland's support for local governance and decentralisation.

  • Health promotion
    The SDC, which has been active for more than 10 years in the field of maternal and child health, will now extend its activities to include promoting primary healthcare and preventing non-communicable diseases, in particular in communities affected by the conflict.

     

  • Energy and sustainable urban development 
    The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs' engagement in the field of energy efficiency will now include promoting sustainable urban planning.

     

  • Sustainable economic development
    The strategy will further pursue and strengthen Swiss support for the private sector, in particular by helping to create a better environment for business and finance and by promoting small and medium-sized enterprises.

Switzerland's activities in Ukraine

Two new Swiss actors

New Swiss actors will be involved in developing and implementing the new cooperation strategy programme:  In addition the SDC and SECO, which have been active in Ukraine for more than 15 years, the Human Security Division (HSD) and Swiss Humanitarian Aid will supplement Switzerland's activities in Ukraine. 

The HSD will focus primarily on the conflict situation in the east of the country to continue the efforts Switzerland undertook during its chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). In addition to various bilateral projects Switzerland plans to step up its participation in the OSCE's monitoring.  It will aim to improve relations between the conflicting parties, promote respect for human rights and international humanitarian law, and strengthen the key political processes needed to resolve the conflict 

Swiss Humanitarian Aid is responding to the humanitarian situation and has given funding to the activities of organisations such as the ICRC, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

The Swiss cooperation office in Kyiv will also be provided with additional staff and its budget will be substantially increased from CHF 57 million for the 2011–2014 period to almost CHF 100 million for 2015–2018. SECO remains the largest contributor to Switzerland's cooperation programme in Ukraine.

Support for the most vulnerable groups

Switzerland's involvement will be neutral and impartial and will be strengthened in those regions directly affected by the conflict and/or those with a large number of displaced persons. It will aim to support the development of the country, including the poor, the most disadvantaged and minority groups.

Difficult context

Switzerland's new strategy on cooperation with Ukraine for 2015–2018 has been developed in the context of the current turbulent socio-political and geostrategic context. The annexation of Crimea in violation of international law in spring 2014 and the outbreak of armed conflict in the Donbass region are two factors behind the internal and international tensions. Large numbers of people have been forced to find refuge in other parts of the country. Ukrainian society has polarised and poverty is increasing. 

This is all taking place against the backdrop of a major economic crisis involving a dramatic fall-off in industrial production and the devaluation of the national currency, which has lost half its value in one year.  These are just two indicators of the extent of the economic collapse under way.

Urgent reform needed

The armed conflict and its economic consequences, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and other agencies have provided massive financial support to overcome, have made clear the urgent need for the country to restore its finances and carry out radical and rapid structural reforms. 

Under pressure from western creditors and the domestic reformist movement the Kyiv government has undertaken first steps to reorganise the power structure, the economy and the workings of the state. 

Building a new system

This situation has presented Ukraine with an enormous challenge but also an opportunity to make major decisions on the direction of a new, more modern and efficient system, one based on the principles of the rule of law and market economics, democracy and transparency that will put an end to corruption which is one of the main problems of contemporary Ukrainian society. For the lenders, this necessary reorientation offers an opportunity to contribute to the development of the country through supporting its strategic priorities. 

 

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 17

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 systems strengthening
HEALTH
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management
Health policy and administrative management

01.12.2015 - 30.11.2019


CHF 1'850'000



Planned project

Recovery and Stabilization Support to Eastern Ukraine

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2025

The local population as well as the displaced persons and refugees continue to suffer the manifold consequences of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. While humanitarian needs persist, there is an increasing demand for more development oriented assistance. Switzerland would like to expand its support to the region by improving the resilience and livelihoods of vulnerable citizens, strengthen the capacities of local governance structures and support local dialogue and trust-building.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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.

Object 1 – 12 of 17