UNDP, UNICEF, IOM, Government of Japan and the Government of Ukraine expand assistance programmes to support IDPs and boost social and economic recovery in Eastern Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine (30 April 2015) - The Government of Japan, the Government of Ukraine, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and International Organization for Migration (IOM),  and the IFRC together with Ukrainian Red Cross Society expanded existing assistance programmes by launching new projects to support internally displaced people (IDPs) and boost social and economic recovery in conflict-affected areas in Eastern Ukraine.  

The armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine has exerted a strong impact on political, social and economic fabric of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, leading to harsh vulnerabilities of population and lack of basic services. The conflict has severely damaged the economy and infrastructure of the region, and forced more than one million people including over 152,000 children to leave their homes. Thousands public buildings and enterprises, social and economic infrastructure have been damaged.

The United Nations strives to help the Government of Ukraine to bring normal life back to the local communities and create new economic opportunities through effective economic and social recovery responses. “The support to the IDPs and socio-economic recovery of conflict-affected areas is one of the top priorities of the United Nations in Ukraine. We stay committed to support the country in these difficult times and are grateful to the Government of Japan for their generous financial assistance”, – noted Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine.

Projects implemented by the UN with funding from the Government of Japan include:

  • UNDP project Rapid Response to Social and Economic Issues of Internally Displaced People in Ukraine (USD 6.3 million) aims to improve livelihoods of IDPs through employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and access to essential social services; build capacity of the government to respond to the IDPs issues and will promote reconciliation and social cohesion.
  • UNDP project Economic and Social Recovery of Donbas Region (USD 5 million) aims to improve livelihoods of local population in Donetsk and Luhansk regions by boosting employment and income generation opportunities. It will include provision of vocational trainings to people, support small and medium-sized enterprises and businesses, building capacity of the government to create positive business environment.
  • IOM (USD 1.4 million) will work with the local government, communities and civil society in eight selected communities in Donbas to determine social infrastructure, i.e. education or medical facilities that will be renovated and upgraded. Communities with a lack of resources at the municipal level, low level of income and a high number of people who returned to their places of residence and substantially damaged social and public infrastructure objects will be prioritized and will be able to receive a maximum of USD 40,000 for infrastructure restoration initiatives.“We aim to promote local community empowerment and social cohesion as cornerstones in preventing further discord and paving the way for long-term solutions,” said IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.
  • UNICEF together with the Ministry of Education of Ukraine and local administrations (USD 3.7 million) will continue to improve access to quality education for the conflict-affected children in Eastern Ukraine. Thirty-five schools will be renovated in Donetsk and Luhansk regions to ensure access to education for 10,000 children. In addition, 30,000 children will receive education kits; equipment and educational supplies will be provided for 50 schools in the conflict-affected areas. “Japan’s assistance could not be more timely, as we are already preparing for the new school year,” said UNICEF Ukraine Representative Giovanna Barberis. This contribution will enable conflict-affected children to access education and actively participate in the school process”.

The IFRC (200.000USD) will together with Ukrainian Red Cross Society continue to expand its capacity to provide psychosocial support to women, children and families affected by the conflict. Focus regions are; Poltava, Summa, Kherson, Kyiv City and Kyiv Region using network of Ukrainian RC branches and existing cooperation with departments of social protection. Community-based psychosocial support can restore a sense of safety and normalcy. Women, as caretakers, play an especially crucial role in the social recovery and social well-being of children. The programme Alleviate the effects of displacement among women and families in Ukraine will enable URCS to reach 4.000 beneficiaries. This is achieved by focusing on: (i) Build capacities of URCS by training RC staff and volunteers, (ii) Increase awareness on children’s social well-being and give caretakers basic skills in promoting this, (iii) Psychosocial support through establishment of self-help groups, and social activities with children (art-therapy, storytelling, excursions, games and plays, social network and contact, theatre, sports) enabling families to cope with loss and/or displacement, build their social skills and enhance their physical and mental well-being in the aftermath of crisis.

This partnership and assistance programmes are implemented within Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s commitment for assistance to Eastern Ukraine announced at the UN General Assembly in September 2014, and has emerged after agreement between Japan and UNDP reached at the Fourth Japan-UNDP Strategic Policy Dialogue in Tokyo in October 2014.


For more information, please contact:

Government of Ukraine: (044) 590-47-93

Government of Japan: koji.tsutsui@mofa.go.jp, +380444905500

UNDP: Yevgeniy.Zelenko@undp.org, +380442539363

UNICEF: vvashchenko@unicef.org, +380442542450

IOM: VZHLUKTENKO@iom.int, +380445685015