Summary of UNDP’s activities in Ukraine, 1-31 March 2022

Last updated on 31 March 2022

Since the beginning of the war in late February, UNDP and its partners have sought to bring relief to those people most affected by the fighting in eastern Ukraine through the State Emergency Services, local NGOs, Ombudsperson’s offices, local police and municipalities. In addition, UNDP and its partners are working to support internally-displaced people (IDPs) in the west of Ukraine. While relatively limited, compared to the Country’s overall humanitarian needs, UNDP’s direct outreach was and continues to be fast and agile as it is not required to wait for humanitarian convoys, relying instead on its ground support and existing partnerships and local networks.

Specifically, UNDP’s immediate response was characterized by timely and quality interventions with enhanced access to affected populations and leveraging local partnerships through:

· Re-programming/repurposing some of the existing development funds/investments (over US$20M), redirecting them to those in need (in line with the mandate of the Government's priorities), through which, some early results have been, inter alia:

i. Supporting the Government of Ukraine with crisis coordination and emergency response programming, including with the Ministry of Digital Transformation to track displaced people and to develop new digital services for IDPs, and for all Ukrainians requiring social and humanitarian assistance;

ii. Assisting the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Foreign Affairs on countering misinformation;

and with relocating Ukrainian production facilities;

iii. Creating employment opportunities for IDPs;

iv. Supporting the rapid repair of damaged critical infrastructure;

v. Purchasing and delivering food and non-food items (including light towers, medication, first-aid supplies etc) for the State Emergency Service for IDPs living in emergency shelters in transit hubs and hosting areas: 50 percent of the emergency medical demand requested by the Government was delivered to meet the needs of some 100,000 individuals – providing the Health Ministry with blood tests used for transfusion during surgeries, in particular for wounded civilian population;

vi. Facilitating a system to record and organize information and form a single register of environmental damage caused by the war in Ukraine (at Operations Headquarters under the State Environmental Inspectorate);

vii. Working with the Ministry of Energy to evaluate the damage caused by the active military actions to the energy system; and

viii. Developing and launching platforms to identify, analyze and mediate community-level conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, especially in those with high numbers of IDPs.

· Developing macro-economic projections of the cost of the war in Ukraine based on a scenario modeling exercise – which estimates that 18 years of development gains will be lost with more than 90 percent of Ukrainians plunging into poverty and extreme economic vulnerability, leaving deep social and economic scars for generations to come.

· Continuing efforts to leverage and mobilize UNDP’s extensive partnership base and expand to new entities, particularly where UNDP has mandate, experience and comparative advantage, ensuring that early recovery proceeds in parallel with the humanitarian response from the outset. This will be achieved by modelling a humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach specifically calibrated to the situation in Ukraine and guided by the main principle of national and local ownership of proposed solutions:

o As an example, under the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, implemented in eastern Ukraine, Canada contributed US$8M to expand the delivery of public services and build resilience of local governments, communities, emergency and other services, enabling them to respond to urgent needs of people fleeing violence.

o With funding from the EU, SIDA, the Netherlands and Canada, UNDP has already implemented nearly 50 targeted quick recovery and emergency assistance initiatives across Ukraine, and at least 60 more similar initiatives are in the pipeline. They include support to shelters for the displaced population in central and western Ukraine; food, medical supplies and other non-food items for people in most affected regions; support with the delivery of humanitarian assistance; and equipment and supplies to the emergency services and hospitals. Further support will be provided to strengthen resilience and build capacities of local governments, emergency services and community organizations to respond to the impacts caused by the war

o And with support from Sweden, UNDP is helping to provide digital support services for refugees and displaced people, allowing people to register for accommodation

· Providing operational and administrative support to other agencies operating in Ukraine (WFP, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, FAO, OCHA, DSS) to further enable the implementation of the humanitarian assistance as per the mounting needs.

UNDP’s operational capacity has been bolstered with targeted and specialized expertise from UNDP’s pool of experts where an additional 15 Senior SURGE Advisors were deployed to Ukraine to work on substantive areas that include crisis governance, mine action, debris management and environmental hazards, resilience building, damage assessment and livelihoods recovery. The additional resources complement the existing workforce of 350 Staff/personnel on the ground and aim at scaling up the direct support availed to the Government from the onset of the war.

Concurrently, the UN Assistant Secretary General, Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, UNDP Bureau Director for Europe and CIS, visited Ukraine on 22 March, meeting with the team and partners in Lviv and Mukachevo, confirming that UNDP is on the ground to stay and deliver providing assistance to the Ukrainian people, especially the most vulnerable and the war affected ones, the Government and State institutions, working closely with the international, national and local partners (UN and non-UN/NGOs, CSOs among others).

Besides the assistance provided – summarized above – UNDP has numerous interventions in its pipeline, to support the Government and the people of Ukraine in the immediate future. Some noteworthy examples include (in a non-exhaustive list):

· Enabling locally led response to the most urgent needs in conflict affected areas, transit hubs, and hosting areas.

a. UNDP is in the process of importing 30 generators to power critical infrastructure, PPEs sets and individual first-aid kits to support the work of the State Emergency Services in rescuing operations

· Enabling service provision:

b. UNDP Ukraine is in the process of awarding small grants to CSOs engaged in the provision of legal counseling, psychological counseling, and organization of distribution of aid in conflict affected areas, transit hubs and hosting regions

c. UNDP is working on supporting community policing in western oblasts

d. In Zakarpattia, UNDP has started provision of technical support to local law enforcement agencies (police patrols) to organize the influx of additional enforcement coming from eastern regions, to aid in maintaining law and order in hosting areas

· Preparing for the recovery phase:

e. UNDP Ukraine is adapting the community mobilizations models tested in the east, thereby establishing platforms for the planning of local recovery across Ukraine. These will be modeled over the Community Security working groups gathering local authorities, law enforcement agencies, civil society representatives to jointly identify and find solutions to community-level security issues. These can be expanded to encompass discussion of local recovery priorities

Finally, looking ahead, UNDP has developed a programmatic offer which aims at preserving development gains, sustaining the government functions and supporting lives and livelihoods in Ukraine by:

(i) supporting the government in sustaining public services provision

(ii) sustaining livelihoods and critical infrastructure

(iii) supporting Ukrainian institutions and civil society to ensure inclusion, protection and empowerment of vulnerable groups