As a result of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, millions of citizens have been displaced within Ukraine or to third countries. Infrastructure and housing have been destroyed over vast areas, while numerous businesses have been forced to relocate. The attacks make it more difficult for people to access public services and exercise their political rights, and are pushing national and regional authorities to their limits. Because Ukraine invested in its digital transformation well before the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022, public administrative bodies were able to respond quickly to the new challenges and needs, and were able to continue to function.
Online services enable contact with authorities regardless of location
Switzerland has been supporting Ukraine in its digital transformation since 2015. At the Ukraine Recovery Conference 2022 (URC2022) in Lugano, Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis underscored that digital transformation is a key component for Ukraine's resilience as well as for the future recovery process. He therefore held out the prospect of increasing the corresponding support by CHF 15 million at URC2022.
Swiss support is implemented within the framework of the EGAP project, which has proved extremely relevant and successful in the face of Russia's military aggression, especially with the online service 'Diia'. Diia offers numerous public services digitally, for example the issuing of digital documents such as identity cards or driver's licenses, access to medical prescriptions and vaccination cards, and to a range of services for parents of newborns.
Following Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, the project's activities were quickly adapted and expanded. For example, registration for state support for internally displaced persons, access to digital documents for refugees, and electronic registration of damaged property were integrated into the service. A new feature was also developed to educate the public about the dangers of landmines and other explosives, and to enable them to report suspicious objects directly to the authorities. Digital access to public services is particularly important in places where administrative offices are currently inaccessible or inoperable due to destroyed state infrastructure. Today, more than 19 million Ukrainians use the Diia online portal or app.
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