Photo credit: Artem Getman / UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 15 July 2019 – A new United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme project funded by the Netherlands to improve community security, access to justice and policing is to tackle a raft of issues arising from the lingering armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The project, entitled “Strengthening National and Local Capacities for the Effective Delivery of Security, Justice, and Reintegration Services in Conflict-Affected Areas of Ukraine,” has a $5-million budget and will run for the next three years, until mid-2022.

The predominant focus of the project will be on improving security and the rule of law and strengthening social cohesion in government-controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. It will build on work done by the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme in previous projects to enhance stabilisation and community security in these oblasts.

Ambassador Ed Hoeks of the Netherlands Embassy in Kyiv complimented UNDP on the work it has already done on security, access to justice and improving living conditions in the Donbas, and said the new project would continue these efforts: “We feel sorry for the fate of the people living in the area of the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine and are confident that this project will contribute to improving their situation.”

The overall goal of the project is to support the creation of security, stability and peace in eastern Ukraine and in select other parts of the country. To do this, it will foster close cooperation with local institutions, including law enforcement and other institutions mandated with ensuring the security and well-being of local citizens (such as the emergency services). The project will support these institutions not only in building their capacities to deliver services, but also in reaching out to the communities they are serving to build engagement and cooperation between them.

In addition, the project will support the establishment of new mechanisms, or promote the use of underutilised ones for resolving conflicts, such as mediation, early warning mechanisms, and others. It will also provide services for the reintegration of former combatants.

UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Dafina Gercheva stressed the importance of continued and concerted efforts towards strengthening community security, respecting rule of law and ensuring equal access to justice for all citizen in eastern Ukraine. She noted that a lot has been done, but that there are still formidable challenges that call for immediate action and a holistic response. 

“There are issues with community safety and security, policing, and more broadly with the rule of law and access to justice that remain unresolved” Gercheva said. “Marginalized and disadvantaged segments of the population are the most affected by inefficient and opaque law-enforcement institutions and courts. This new component of the Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, which is funded by the Netherlands, will improve community security, access to justice and policing, and will tackle complex challenges caused by the protracted armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.”

The project will be part of the overall United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme, within the Programme’s Community Security and Social Cohesion component.

Tetiana Kovalchuk, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, stressed that the new project will bring us closer to the implementation of the Donbas Reintegration Strategy called “Small Steps Mechanism” that was developed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

“In our context, we need to resolve all the issues in eastern Ukraine step by step. First, we need to ensure that security, law and order are completely restored, and then facilitate the return of the citizens who were temporarily displaced,” Kovalchuk said.

The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme is being implemented by four United Nations agencies: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The programme operates in six of Ukraine’s oblasts: Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv and Zhytomyr.

The programme’s total budget is over $80 million. It is supported by eleven international partners: the European Union, the European Investment Bank and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

Media inquiries: Yuliia Samus, Communication Specialist, UNDP Ukraine, communications.ukraine@undp.orgYuliia.Samus@undp.org, +38 097 139 14 75

Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine

Dutch-funded project to enhance law and order in eastern Ukraine kicks off

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