24 October 2017, Kyiv – Today UN Day is celebrated around the world, marking the 72nd anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. In Ukraine, United Nations Country Team marks its 25th Anniversary of the presence in the country.

Ukraine`s attainment of sovereignty and independence in 1991 ushered in both an utterly new page in its historical development and new chances for integration into the world community. Naturally, the country was facing new challenges and a range of political, economic and social issues had to be resolved. New approaches based on the principles of an open society, democratic governance and respect for human rights were in high demand. This is when the international community stepped in to accelerate Ukraine`s economic development and strengthen its positions on international arena. The United Nations was one of the first to provide assistance, having opened its representative office in Kyiv in 1992.

In 2014, the UN had to adjust its operations to a new crisis which emerged following the Maidan events, occupation of Crimea and armed conflict in the east of the country. President Poroshenko, on his election in May of 2014, asked for UN assistance to address the range of challenges (human rights, humanitarian, recovery, reform and development) and the system has scaled up since then, generating new modalities of cooperation and coordination.

Today, despite the challenges in working at the same time to achieve peace, support reforms, encourage social and economic development, the UN system manages to bring in global experience and expertise. Currently, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Ukraine is composed of representatives of 18 UN funds and programmes, specialized agencies and other UN entities accredited to Ukraine as well as representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions.

“During last 25 years, literally, millions of Ukrainian people have benefitted from the work of the United Nations, directly or indirectly. Perhaps more than at any time since 1991, Ukraine now faces truly serious challenges. In this context, the international community has played an important role in support of national efforts to build a peaceful, prosperous and united Ukraine. The United Nations is a lynchpin of the international system in crisis response and, on-the-ground, the UN has answered Ukraine’s call for help. With support of donor partners and the government, we have massively increased assistance and expanded our team. The United Nations, and the staff of the UN in Ukraine, stand ready to continue this support to Ukrainian efforts into the future in critical priority areas defined in the United Nations Partnership Framework that was approved last week by the Cabinet of Ministers,”- says Neal Walker, Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine.

All members of the United Nations system in Ukraine - the FAO, ILO, IOM, UNAIDS, UNDP, OHCHR/UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNOCHA, UNODC, UNOPS, UNV, UN Women, WFP, WHO, the World Bank and UN Volunteers - are united by one collective vision and approach which aims to better meet the needs of the population, including the new and more demanding humanitarian, socioeconomic, governance, security and political needs in the short, medium and long-term.

Responding to the challenges imposed by recent developments in the country, the UN in Ukraine is working in four directions simultaneously, in short, medium and long-term programs:

- Humanitarian Response, including for conflict-affected regions and for internally-displaced persons (IDPs);

- Recovery, stabilization and rehabilitation for the East and other regions;

- Supporting longer-term country-wide governance reforms to assist the Government to protect human rights, promote the rule of law and strengthen social stability and democratic governance;

- Advising and assisting the Government of Ukraine on the implementation of recommendations from the UN human rights mechanisms, as well as those made through the reports of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

During 25 years of cooperation, millions of people all over Ukraine benefitted from the support of the UN, directly or indirectly. Data below demonstrates how large is the scale of work the UN is doing in Ukraine:

- Since the beginning of 2016, FAO’s targeted approach resulted in provision of emergency assistance to nearly 15 000 households, who have suffered significant losses due to the ongoing military conflict. The overall emergency portfolio of FAO is aimed at enhancing food security for more than 45 000 people. From 2004, FAO has been regularly providing targeted technical assistance to the line ministries and state agencies covering the areas of sanitary and phytosanitary control, food safety and value chain development, data collection and processing, climate change, forestry and fisheries management.

- The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN agency for the world of work. During the 25 years of presence in Ukraine, the ILO has promoted decent work through development of social dialogue in support of economic transformations for investments, entrepreneurship, skills development, job creation and sustainable livelihoods, occupational safety and health, protecting rights at work and enhancing social protection. In the recent years, the ILO has strengthened capacity of its constituents in aligning Ukraine’s reform agenda with the international labour standards, EU Directives and good international practices.

During 21 years of presence in Ukraine, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) – has assisted about half a million migrants (Ukrainians and other nationalities),IDPs, potential migrants, victims of trafficking and other vulnerable groups, directly or through its project partners. This includes almost 200,000 conflict-affected people assisted since the beginning of crisis in Ukraine in 2014.

UN OCHA key achievements include establishment of the humanitarian coordination system, including cluster coordination architecture, as well as functional strategic and operational coordination at national and sub-national levels, including non-government controlled areas. OCHA has facilitated development of the needs assessment and analysis, as well as humanitarian response planning and monitoring as well as continuous joint advocacy efforts to ensure enhanced humanitarian financing.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission speaks objectively and impartially about the human rights situation in the country. Since 2014, each year human rights officers of the Mission interview more than 1,000 people on both sides of the contact line, providing protection by presence and informing partners who are able to ensure timely assistance. Since 2014, the Human Rights Office presented 19 public reports on the human rights situation in Ukraine, and three thematic reports: on accountability for killings, conflict-related sexual violence, and the human rights situation in Crimea.

For 24 years UNDP Ukraine works in areas of Democratic Governance and Reform, Recovery and Peacebuilding, and Sustainable Development. In the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident, UNDP assumed responsibility for UN-wide coordination of Chernobyl efforts. UNDP supported 4,000 local development micro-projects originated by over 2,000 community organizations, improving the quality of life of more than 7 million Ukrainians. Since 2014, UNDP has rebuilt critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and bridges, benefitting more than 4 million conflict-affected people on both sides of the contact line.

During 20 years of presence in Ukraine UNFPA has supported Ukraine to develop family planning system and significantly enhance access and quality of reproductive health services resulted in more than 2-fold decrease in abortions rate and reduction in maternal mortality. More recently UNFPA is leading on addressing issues gender equality and particularly response to gender based violence. As of October 2017, UNFPA provided assistance to more than 20 000 survivors of violence. Reproductive health medicine, commodities and equipment has helped over 286 000 women to have safe delivery and access reproductive health services.

During 23 years of presence in Ukraine, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) contributed to the development of national legislation, building an effective asylum system, as well as provided humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and conflict-affected populations. UNCHR facilitated the naturalization and integration of some 115,000 formerly deported persons, primarily ethnic Crimean Tatars who returned to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea from exile. Since 2014, UNHCR has assisted 9,608 families with emergency repairs for their damaged houses/apartments and 15,006 families with long-term repairs.

UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997, and since then significantly contributed the realization of the rights of all children in Ukraine in the protection, education and health policies and services, in particular of the most disadvantaged. Since 2014, over 270,000 children and their families have received psychosocial support, over 1.8 million of people have accessed safe drinking water in the conflict affected areas, access to education for children living close to the contact line was maintained through the rehabilitation of 70 schools, and over 2 million children and their families have received mine-risk education.

Since opening of the office in 2017 UNOPS provides services in project administration, development of infrastructure, procurement and governance of funds in the sphere of the rule of law, post-crisis recovery, health and sustainable development and environment. More than 50,000 examinations and surgeries are done due to the most modern medical equipment provided with the help of UNOPS. More than 10 000 women, children and IDPs and pensioners received assistance from the Small Grants programs GEF which is performed by UNOPS. More than 5, 500 staff of military departments of Ukraine – board guards, police and engineers involved in demining received assistance and protection during their work.

Since 1999 UN Women has been supporting the government of Ukraine with the implementation of the internationally agreed gender equality and women’s rights commitments through Ukraine national reforms, recovery and peacebuilding. In line with the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security into practical action UN Women in collaboration with the Government recently conducted the Gender Impact Assessment and drafted the Gender Equality Strategy for the Security and Defence Sector. UN Women created 61 self-help groups with 470 members (84% women) in 20 pilot decentralized communities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions for practical actions with the local authorities.

During 24 years of the presence in Ukraine, UN Volunteers Programme has helped position volunteering as a form of civic and youth engagement in Ukraine and an indispensable part of UN work in the country. Through two projects jointly implemented with UNDP in 2008-2011 and 2012-2016, UNV helped increased capacity of 52 youth centers and volunteer involving organizations situated mostly in rural communities of Ukraine and empowered over 6000 of disadvantaged youth for their personal development and greater engagement in civic activities in their communities. In collaboration with its NGO partners, UNV has helped mobilize hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to participate in volunteer activities.

During 23 years of its work in Ukraine, World Health Organization has been providing support in strengthening health systems and improvement of health services. Since 2014, WHO has been working with health partners to provide health-care services, and to ensure that Ukraine’s most vulnerable communities in eastern Ukraine receive support. Throughout 2016, WHO delivered over 170 tons of medical supplies for more than 350 000 people, including medicines for chronic diseases, life-saving support for 50 000 diabetic patients, some 14 000 rapid blood tests and supplies for 1800 complex and lifesaving surgical operations.

WFP first established its presence in Ukraine in March 2014 to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In November 2014, WFP launched its emergency operation and provided food assistance to over 1 million people among the most vulnerable and food insecure people in conflict-affected regions of Ukraine through locally purchased monthly food entitlements, and cash or vouchers. Since January 2017, WFP has provided both in-kind and cash-based assistance to some 150,000 people. Since the start of its operations, WFP has injected USD 60 million into the local economy, through a range of cash-based transfers and locally-procured food commodities.

Find more information on the website www.un.org.ua, andrievska@un.org, +380442539363.

List of all UN agencies, funds and programmes in Ukraine: http://un.org.ua/en/contacts

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