Poland allocates half a million US dollars to boost business development in eastern Ukraine

Jul 28, 2017

27 July, Lviv –  The Polish government and UNDP in Ukraine, in close cooperation with the Ukrainian government, launched the second phase of a project aimed at supporting businesses by men and women  affected by the conflict.

The second phase of the project with a total budget of USD 500,000 will continue to support self-employment and the creation of new jobs for IDPs and host communities in the government-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts.

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.

«Ukraine has been a priority country of Polish aid for nearly 10 years now. The current geopolitical situation only strengthened our determination in supporting Ukraine. The second phase project which the Government of Poland and UNDP are initiating today is a key component of our support. We welcome the results achieved in the first edition of the project. I believe that this assistance has allowed not only to help population affected by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine to cope with immediate needs, but also to contribute to recovery and to foster social cohesion,» noted Joanna Wronecka, the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Poland.

Today Ukraine has 1.6 million internally displaced people, including women, elderly people, and children. Most of them reside in the government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and face challenges finding means to provide for their families and meeting their needs. Unemployment remains on of the biggest challenges for IDPs, with particular impact in the conflict-affected areas of the Donbas region, whose 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 IDPs and conflict-affected populations remains a priority task for the UNDP in Ukraine”, Blerta Cela, UNDP’s Deputy Director, says. “I would like to thank the Government of Poland for the strong partnership and continuous financial support at these challenging times for Ukraine on its way to recovery and peacebuilding. Creating new jobs and livelihoods, as well as business opportunities, has a great bearing on whether men and women can live with dignity, and whether communities in eastern Ukraine are inclusive and peaceful.”

In 2015-2016, the Government of Poland allocated USD 730,000 for the inception phase of the project “Promotion of entrepreneurship among a conflict-affected population”. As a result of the Polish aid alone, some 200 IDPs and local residents of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts were trained in drafting business plans, 100 start-up businesses were supported, and 323 new jobs were created in just eight months.

Media inquiries

Yevgeniy Zelenko, UNDP Ukraine Media Officer | +38 044 254 0035 | yevgeniy.zelenko@undp.org

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