End of Year Message from Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Ukraine Resident Representative

December 28, 2023
Illustration: UNDP in Ukraine

Dear Partners and Colleagues,

As 2023 draws to a close, I reflect on the incredible journey we have embarked upon together. The challenges we faced following Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 were unprecedented. Yet, through unwavering commitment and resilience, UNDP Ukraine has responded to these challenges and significantly scaled up its operations, playing a pivotal role in the country’s path towards recovery and sustainable development.

Our response has been multifaceted and comprehensive. We have maintained essential services, enhanced local governance, and adapted public services to digital platforms, ensuring continuity and accessibility. Our support for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has been crucial in stabilizing employment and fostering economic stability, especially in the most affected regions.

Regarding infrastructure and community development, our efforts in conducting damage assessments and supporting the reconstruction of critical infrastructure have been integral to the nation's physical rebuilding and the revitalization of local economies.

Central to our work has been the promotion of social cohesion and inclusion. We have integrated veterans, internally displaced persons, and returnees, provided psychosocial support, and ensured access to justice, upholding human rights and dignity in these challenging times. Our innovative strategies have met the diverse needs of those we serve, leveraging digital technologies and integrating environmental sustainability into our recovery initiatives.

I am particularly proud of the tangible impacts of our initiatives. In 2023, our crisis response efforts supported 23 government institutions to enhance policy analysis and crisis management capacities. More than 21 million users accessed 40 e-services launched through the DIA platform and app with our support. Our energy initiatives, including deploying autotransformers and distributing emergency power units, have been pivotal in providing essential services to over two million people.

Furthermore, with the support of our partners:

  • We enhanced the capabilities of the State Emergency Service (SESU) and National Police units. These units now serve 8.5 million residents across 37 settlements, thanks to delivering essential equipment and supplies.
  • We increased the capacity of 213 pyrotechnic units of SESU; over 4,500 civilians benefitted from explosive ordnance risk education. We also tested innovative technologies to accelerate demining and land reclamation in a more cost-effective manner.
  • We rehabilitated five bomb shelters and two facilities for IDP accommodation. Plans are underway to refurbish more than 60 schools, five social and municipal infrastructure objects, and at least 12 business infrastructure objects.
  • We provided access to enhanced economic opportunities for more than 21,000 MSMEs, with more than 19,000 individuals securing employment and advancing their economic prospects.
  • We delivered 15 specially equipped ambulances, benefiting over 30,500 people.
  • We provided human rights consultations to 16,500 individuals through the Ombudsperson network.
  • We provided legal consultations to 47,000 individuals.
  • We supported civil society initiatives that benefited 66,609 people in conflict-affected communities.
  • We supported over 900 individuals with capacity-building focused on social services, disability issues, and aiding veterans and their families.
  • We facilitated 60 youth dialogues, engaging 1,053 young women and men.
  • We supported 17 rehabilitation centres with a new model for social work.

None of these achievements could have been realized without the critical contributions from every one of you, our dedicated staff members and partners. Your commitment, expertise, and hard work have been the driving force behind our success.

Our work is possible thanks to the generous contributions from our development partners, including the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the Governments of Japan, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Korea, Latvia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, the Global Fund, and the Global Environment Facility.

I am filled with hope and gratitude as we look towards the future. Together, we have faced challenges and turned them into opportunities for growth and development. Our journey is far from over, but I am confident that with your continued support and dedication, we will keep making a significant difference in the lives of those we serve.

Thank you for your incredible efforts and unwavering support!


Warm regards,

Jaco Cilliers

Resident Representative

UNDP Ukraine