Switzerland supports Ukraine on its path towards peace and sustainable development by building an inclusive society where all women and men can contribute to and benefit equally from integrity in public life and sustainable growth. Switzerland will continue its work following Russia's military invasion.

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 is a priority country for Switzerland's international cooperation. The 2020–23 cooperation programme is set to continue, although it has been heavily impacted by the conflict.

Updates on the conflict in Ukraine are available in the news ticker.

News ticker

Switzerland's commitment

Switzerland has been carrying out international cooperation work in Ukraine since the early 1990s. Switzerland opened a cooperation office in Kyiv in 1999. It 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 is set to continue, albeit with some adjustments, 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 law.

On 11 March 2022, the Federal Council decided to increase humanitarian aid in Ukraine and the wider region to CHF 80 million. Three quarters of the new funds are earmarked to help those who have remained in Ukraine. A quarter of the total sum will be used to help Ukrainian refugees in neighbouring countries, especially in Moldova. In addition, the SDC has sent supplies from Switzerland to provide healthcare, water, sanitation and shelter and has purchased and distributed food on the Ukrainian market. Swiss Humanitarian Aid (SHA) experts have also been deployed to Ukraine since 24 February 2022.

Peace, protection and democratic institutions

Switzerland is working to strengthen democratic institutions at national and sub-national level (e.g. local authorities) in Ukraine and, in particular, to promote 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.

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.

Health

Approach and partners

Switzerland relies on the work of MENA and Swiss Humanitarian Aid at the SDC, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD). In addition, Switzerland makes use of its usual channels for maintaining external relations and capitalises on its role in international forums.

Switzerland works closely with the 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, gender equality and equality for all social and ethnic groups. 

Switzerland's key partners in Ukraine

  • Ukrainian authorities at national, regional and municipal level
  • International organisations such as the Danish Refugee Council and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and local civil society organisations
  • 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)
  • Swiss NGOs and centres of expertise: Skat, Innovabridge, Swiss TPH, Swisscontact

Documents

Current projects

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SRC: Emergency assistance to IDP - Winterization

01.08.2022 - 31.03.2023

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

15.10.2021 - 31.05.2023

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. 


United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2023

Switzerland renews its contribution to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) for 2021-2023 in the context of its support to a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in the east of the country. The presence and impartial work of the Mission on both sides of the line of contact and with regard to Crimea is important to enable dialogue for human rights issues, to prevent violations of human rights, and to contribute to increasing accountability of duty bearers.


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 - 31.12.2023

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.



Asset Recovery Support Project

01.12.2018 - 30.06.2023

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 - 30.06.2023

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 - 31.12.2023

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. 

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