Ukraine

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

Object 1 – 12 of 31

Supporting the Medical Education Development in Ukraine (MED)

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2027

Ukrainian population faces major health needs due to the war and the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. A total collapse of the healthcare systems could be avoided thanks to the commitment of the Ministry of Health and the flexible long-term support to sectoral reforms of donors such as SDC. The Medical Education project aims to further strengthen the resilience of the medical education system in a context of acute scarcity and unprecedented migration of health professionals. 


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

01.07.2023 - 30.09.2024

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.


SRC: Emergency assistance to IDP - Winterization

01.08.2022 - 31.08.2024

In expectation of the winter in Ukraine, the Swiss Red Cross in collaboration with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society improve living conditions in collective centers and host community facilities, and provide durable accommodation solutions for Internal Displaced Persons through winterization measures in Ternopil and Ivano Frankivsk Oblast. 


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

16.10.2021 - 31.12.2024

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.


Ukraine’s Cohesion and Regional Development (UCORD)

01.06.2021 - 30.11.2026

Ukraine’s recovery, cohesion and regional development need an effective implementation structure, which should be coordinated by the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). Switzerland will empower RDAs and will help them to transform into inclusive multi-stakeholder platforms that coordinate the design of regional strategies and co-implement with communities and businesses the public services provision projects with a focus on environment and culture.


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. 


Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education (DECIDE)

01.01.2020 - 31.01.2025

Decentralisation and education reforms are key components to the ongoing national reforms that need to be pursued in a coordinated manner. Capitalizing on experience in decentralisation reform and in citizenship education, Switzerland will support the development of efficient, transparent and participatory education governance in rural areas of Ukraine, where it will aim at fostering trust between local authorities and citizens through improved education service and greater civic engagement of youth.


Improving transparency and reducing corruption through e-governance in Ukraine

EGAP

01.07.2019 - 30.04.2024

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.



Mental Health for All

01.04.2018 - 29.02.2024

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. 


City Resilience Program, Phase II

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2027

The City Resilience Program scales up the resilience of cities against adverse impacts of disasters and climate change. It does so by supporting risk-informed und multisector planning efforts, identify suitable interventions and investments that enhance the resilience of cities, and supports their bankability and access multiple financing sources.

Object 1 – 12 of 31