Crisis in Ukraine

Switzerland condemns Russia's military intervention against Ukraine and urges Russia to immediately cease military aggression and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory. Switzerland is committed to a political solution to the conflict and is at the disposal as host or facilitator within the framework of its good offices, if the conflict parties desire this.

The SDC responded swiftly to the war in Ukraine with humanitarian aid. Switzerland's humanitarian support package currently involves three elements: sending relief supplies, deploying Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) specialists and providing financial support to humanitarian organisations. Furthermore, some of the existing international cooperation projects are being adapted to the new circumstances. In response to the refugee crisis, the Federal Council decided at its meeting of 11 March to increase humanitarian aid to Ukraine to a total of CHF 80 million. With this contribution, Switzerland is expressing its solidarity with the people of Ukraine in their time of need.

Information on the conflict in Ukraine in the news ticker.

News Ticker

The generosity in support of the people of Ukraine is evident in towns and cantons throughout Switzerland. However, in order for this surge of solidarity to best meet the needs of the Ukrainian population, the SDC would like to draw attention to various aspects. A number of steps must be taken to ensure that the different types of aid provided to Ukraine respond to genuine needs. Please follow these brief steps:

Solidarity drive for Ukraine: steps to follow to ensure that the aid reaches those in need (PDF, 1 Page, 39.2 kB, English)

Switzerland supports Ukraine on its path towards peace and sustainable development by building an inclusive society where all women and men equally contribute to and benefit from public integrity and sustainable growth. Switzerland therefore engages in peacebuilding and assists Ukraine in implementing major reforms.

Map of Ukraine

Ukraine is a context of deep contrasts, being at the same time one of the largest but also among the poorest countries (measured by GDP per capita at purchasing power parity) in Europe. Ukraine has also considerable economic potential, while parts of its territory have remained outside government control for more than 5 years due to armed conflict and annexation: since fighting erupted in eastern Ukraine in April 2014, over 13,000 people were killed and an estimated 1.4 million (2019) are displaced from their homes. Switzerland has been working to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict within the framework of the Trilateral Contact Group negotiations in Minsk. Moreover, Switzerland believes that the Russian Federation's continued annexation of the Crimean Peninsula since March 2014 contravenes national and international law and goes against the territorial integrity.

Following the 'Euromaidan' or 'Revolution of Dignity' in 2013/2014, reforms in Ukraine have been strongly encouraged and considerable progress was achieved, for example in relation to decentralisation, healthcare, education as well as the energy and banking sectors. After presidential and parliamentary elections were held in 2019, the new government reiterated its willingness to pursue the reform process, which indicates that the country is firmly moving towards Euro-Atlantic standards. For that to materialize, it is essential that Ukraine continues the crackdown on corruption, since this is a necessary step to uphold and improve confidence in public institutions.

Swiss commitment

Switzerland has been involved in cooperation activities in Ukraine since the 1990s and opened a cooperation office in Kyiv in 1999. It has been supporting reform efforts ever since, including contributions to improve the living standards of the local population and to more efficient public service delivery and by promoting sustainable economic growth. Switzerland's current activities are based on its cooperation programme for 2020–23, which defines four areas of intervention under the responsibility of respective units within Swiss Federal Administration.

Local governance and peacebuilding

Peace, protection and democratic institutions

Efforts are focused on facilitating a peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, for example, by seconding experts to the negotiations of the Trilateral Contact Group. Peacebuilding, humanitarian aid and protection measures, combined with governance reforms, aim to achieve the overarching objectives of finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict, ensuring compliance with international law, promoting human rights and strengthening democracy. Switzerland is engaging in dialogue and undertaking diplomatic efforts both at bilateral and multilateral level to ensure progress in and eventually the success of these initiatives. Action will be taken to raise public awareness of human rights and international humanitarian law. SDC's Humanitarian Aid, acting in an independent and impartial capacity, will continue to be active on both sides of the contact line in eastern Ukraine. Further objectives include strengthening democratic institutions at national and sub-national level (e.g. local authorities) in the government controlled areas and, in particular, encouraging women and vulnerable groups to participate in political processes.

Sustainable economic development

Sustainable cities

The main priorities in this area are accelerating a resource efficient and climate friendly economic growth, as well as improving quality of life in the cities. Better energy management, integrated urban development and sustainable mobility form the cornerstones of Switzerland's contribution. This multi-dimensional approach to promoting a green economy should in the long term make Ukraine's cities more attractive to local population and investors.

SMEs and competitiveness

The main objective of this area of intervention is to achieve broad-based economic growth and, in particular, to harness the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This involves enhancing overall competitiveness and creating suitable framework 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.


The overarching objective is to improve the health status of the Ukrainian population, with a particular focus on those affected by the conflict. In order to achieve this, efforts are undertaken to improve health governance and 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 of the Ukrainian population, 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 targets eastern Ukraine, including communities affected by the conflict, and it therefore includes interventions in the mental health domain.


Humanitarian aid

Supporting people on both sides of the contact line.

SDC's Humanitarian Aid has been active in eastern Ukraine since 2014. In addition to its annual support to ICRC and UN operations, it has organised 13 humanitarian convoys to ensure the supply of drinking water to people on both sides of the contact line. It also delivered medical equipment during the pandemic.

Switzerland was the only state actor to provide direct humanitarian assistance on both sides of the contact line. Its humanitarian aid transports made a significant contribution to ensuring that the health of the population did not deteriorate too much by improving the medical infrastructure and producing drinking water.

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.

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 (Danish Refugee Council, GIZ GmbH)
  • 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 Human Rights (UNHCHR), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)
  • Swiss NGOs and competence centres: Skat, Innovabridge, Swiss TPH


Current projects

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Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine

01.02.2022 - 31.03.2024

With a contribution to the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), Switzerland aims at strengthening communities and at enhancing government legitimacy in Eastern Ukraine through improved services, economic recovery and empowered civil society. The PFRU is an innovative multi-donor financing tool which focuses on supporting the implementation of reforms in the conflict-affected areas of the country through an integrated approach (humanitarian-development-peace nexus). The PFRU unites five development partners (UK, US, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland) and it is co-owned by the Government of Ukraine.

Support to Ukraine Reform Conference 2022

15.10.2021 - 30.09.2022

Switzerland will co-host the 5th Ukraine Reform Conference in Lugano (4-5 July 2022). In addition to events held outside Ukraine, Switzerland will support an inclusive and multi-stakeholder in-country preparatory process to generate broader support for reforms and to present concrete commitments at the conference itself. For this purpose, it will organize a series of activities in Ukraine including civil society, the private sector, local authorities, academia and government institutions.

Sustaining Health Sector Reform in Ukraine

10.05.2021 - 30.04.2025

Health outcomes in Ukraine can only be improved if the healthcare reform is implemented on all levels. Reform efforts need to be reliably accompanied and continuously sustained and supported by development partners through successes as well as set-backs. Through this targeted project, Switzerland will help to optimize the World Bank (WB) and World Health Organization (WHO) reform blueprints to the Ukrainian context and challenges and contribute to a comprehensive system building of the health sector. 

Advancing Sustainable Agriculture in Ukraine

01.10.2019 - 31.12.2022

Agricultural production in Ukraine is unsustainable. SDC and Nestlé join efforts to improve agricultural production practices in two selected value chains which will contribute to an improved farm performance and life of farmers. The project will pilot a business model for farm sustainability with 10 farmers and 5 pre-processing lead suppliers. Good business cases showing sustainable farm performance and supply to pre-processors will be disseminated for potential replication.


Improving transparency and reducing corruption through e-governance in Ukraine


01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The people of Ukraine are regularly confronted with the problems of corruption and difficulties in accessing information. With the 'E-Governance for Accountability and Participation' (EGAP) programme, the SDC is working to improve this situation and help strengthen citizens' trust in Ukraine's public administration.

Reducing risk-factors for Non-Communicable Diseases in Ukraine (opening phase)

01.05.2019 - 31.10.2024

Switzerland will support the Government of Ukraine in operationalizing the National Action Plan against Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) that it adopted in 2018. This four-year intervention aims at fostering an enabling policy environment related to NCDs, strengthening capacities of primary healthcare service providers in five pilot regions and increasing health-seeking practices by the Ukrainian population by facilitating engagement between authorities, civil society and private sector.

Asset Recovery Support Project

01.12.2018 - 30.09.2022

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 - 28.02.2023

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 - 31.12.2022

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 - 30.11.2022

A profound health reform is underway in Ukraine. The currently ill-prepared medical education system is a fundamental component of it. Training curricula are outdated and teaching staff lack essentials skills, capacities and motivation. This project supports the reform of the medical education system for family doctors and nurses, and the strengthening of competencies of healthcare managers. As a result, significant quality improvements of health care delivered to the population are expected.

Energy Efficiency in Municipalities

01.12.2019 - 30.04.2025

SECO supports a project managed by the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) aiming at establishing basic municipal energy management and energy planning in smaller Ukrainian cities. These measures improve the energy efficiency and thereby contribute to climate change mitigation in the project cities.

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