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. The Humanitarian Aid of the Swiss Confederation, 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.


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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UNDP Strenghtening SMEs Business Membership Organisations in Ukraine Phase II

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2023

The project aims to enhance growth and competitiveness of SMEs and strengthen their voice in Ukraine. The project Strengthening SMEs Business Membership Organization Phase II is the continuation of the previous phase implemented in Ukraine between 2015-2018. The project is implemented by UNDP.

IFC: Financial Inclusion for Growth Ukraine

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2023

The Financial Inclusion for Growth Ukraine Project aims to improve access and responsible usage of financial services by the population and SMEs in remote areas and strive for a better financial inclusion (FI) in the country. The project is implemented by the International Finance Corporation.

Quality Food Trade in Ukraine

01.07.2019 - 31.08.2023

The program aims at increasing value addition in domestic and export trade by strengthening product quality and safety as well as trade capacities in the organic and dairy sector in Ukraine.

Organic Trade 4 Development in Eastern Europe

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

The program aims at accelerating the market uptake of organic farming in Eastern Europe, Albania, Serbia, and Ukraine, by engaging in a partnership with the Swiss organic sourcing industry for the development of organic exports from the beneficiary countries and by fostering sustainable growth of the organic sector in line with IFOAM's vision 3.0.

IFC Sustainable Cities Platform

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2023

The availability and quality of urban infrastructure and related services constitute an essential basis for enhancing competitiveness, reducing poverty and environmental and climate change impacts.

Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023

While it is uncontested that Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) methods are an important ingredient for a more sustainable and climate friendly way of production, their broad deployment and effective use has yet to happen.

Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP)

01.11.2017 - 30.11.2022

The Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) implemented with UNIDO addresses challenges faced by exporters from developing countries, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to meet and prove conformity with market entry requirements/standards, technical regulations and market requirements.

Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.

Energy Efficiency Zhytomyr

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2022

The project aims at improving the municipal infrastructure and its energy efficiency. To do so, the district heating network will be rehabilitated, capacity will be built and the awareness about energy efficiency and renewable energy will be raised. The project will accompany Zhytomyr on its way to becoming an energy-efficient city.

Europe and Central Asia : PPP Transaction Advisory Program

01.06.2011 - 31.12.2022

The ECA Program, managed by the International Finance Corporation IFC, is providing infrastructure transaction advisory and capacity building services to the public sector authorities to promote Public-Private Partnerships in Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.

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