Poland donates another half a million US dollars for economic recovery in eastern Ukraine

UNDP: The government of Poland and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, in cooperation with the Ukrainian government, have launched the third phase of a project aimed at supporting entrepreneurship among conflict-affected people in eastern Ukraine.

The third phase of the project, which has a total budget of USD 520,000, will continue to support the creation of new jobs for IDPs and host communities in the government-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, and will be part of the UN’s Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme in eastern Ukraine.

The project aims to support business skills development and providing seed grants for small-scale start-up businesses; provide advisory services to facilitate the creation and/or expansion of small and medium-sized enterprises; promote entrepreneurship through a motivation campaign; and facilitate access for local businesses to international markets.

“I want to express my satisfaction with the launch of the third phase of the project ‘Promoting entrepreneurship among the conflict-affected population in Ukraine,’ says Bartosz Cichocki, the Polish Ambassador to Ukraine. “The Polish government and UNDP in Ukraine have continued fruitful and well established cooperation for several years now. Since 2015, the project has achieved a number of tangible results and has contributed to the recovery and revival of economic and business activity in two oblasts severely damaged by the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.”

Today Ukraine has over 1.5 million internally displaced people, including women, elderly people, and children. Most reside in the government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and face challenges finding the means to provide for their families and meet their needs. Unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges for IDPs, and has a particular impact in the conflict-affected areas of eastern Ukraine, where long-entrenched economic problems have been exacerbated by the armed conflict. Other economic challenges faced by the region include damaged infrastructure, the disruption of economic relations, and the destruction of manufacturing facilities.

“Creating economic foundations that can generate employment and livelihood opportunities among conflict-affected populations remains a priority task for the UNDP in Ukraine,” says Victor Munteanu, the manager of UN’s Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme. “I’d like to thank the government of Poland for its strong partnership and continuous financial support, which has resulted in the creation of almost 160 small businesses and some 540 new jobs. The variety of fields covered by the grants programme is impressive, and includes producing agricultural machinery, opening medical and educational centres, bakeries, cafés, and holding cheesemaking workshops.”

From 2015 to 2018 the government of Poland allocated over USD 1.9 million for the “Promotion of Entrepreneurship in the Conflict-Affected Population” project. As a result of the Polish aid alone, some 600 conflict-affected people in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts developed business skills, 159 start-up businesses were supported, and 539 new jobs were created in eastern Ukraine. Additionally, 121 enterprises participated in two national business expos and over 200,000 people were reached by the entrepreneurship promotion campaign.