EU, UNDP, and UNHCR join in forum on integration of IDPs in Chernivtsi

More than 100 active participants gathered at the forum to devise sustainable strategies for the integration of internally displaced persons in Chernivtsi Oblast

April 8, 2024
Photo credit: Artem Hetman / UNDP in Ukraine

Chernivtsi, Ukraine, 8 April 2024 — The European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) supported a forum focusing on the integration of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Chernivtsi Oblast. The initiative to organize the Forum stemmed from Chernivtsi City Council and the IDP Councils, which address the needs of displaced men, women and children.

According to the Department of Social Policy of the Chernivtsi City Council, IDPs account for 10 percent of the region’s population, or approximately 80,000 people, including over 40,000 women with children, elderly people, and persons with disabilities. UNDP and UNHCR, in collaboration with its partners, facilitates platforms such as this forum to bolster the engagement of IDPs in local decision-making and gradually rebuild a sense of belonging among those displaced by war.

The forum comprised four panel discussions, encompassing various facets of IDP integration in Chernivtsi Oblast. Topics included the advocacy capacities of IDP Councils and their accomplishments; effective models of collaboration among local authorities, community members, and IDPs; international approaches to working with IDPs; successful integration experiences in Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia oblasts; and efforts to enhance collaboration with national and international stakeholders.

Stefan Schleuning, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, underscored the European Union’s firm commitment to supporting Ukraine in its recovery journey, particularly in IDP integration. “The success stories highlighted at this forum demonstrate, above all, the readiness of displaced Ukrainians to contribute actively to recovery,” Mr. Schleuning said. “In the framework of our EU4Recovery partnership project, EU in collaboration with UNDP are developing initiatives to facilitate smoother integration of IDPs into new communities, thereby fostering Ukraine’s economic and social advancement.”

Jaco Cilliers, UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine, stressed the importance of maximizing IDP engagement in decision-making processes at all levels. “The active engagement of IDPs in shaping the prosperity of their new communities serves as our starting point for implementing relevant projects and programmes aimed at supporting IDPs in Ukraine,” Cilliers said. “We highly value the perspectives of IDPs and recognize their potential for engaging in the recovery process, which, together with our partners, we are dedicated to developing to the fullest.”

Karolina Lindholm Billing, UNHCR Representative in Ukraine, highlighted the importance of forums like this one, and the All Ukraine IDP Council Forum organized last year, to discuss how to further improve IDP integration and strengthen IDP Councils. “IDPs come to their new communities with knowledge, skills and experiences, and IDP Councils can be an essential vehicle to ensure that this human capital is valued and contributes to community planning and development,” Lindholm Billing said. “The work of IDP Councils can amplify voices of IDPs, strengthen the social cohesion and path to recovery in the communities. Alongside our longstanding partners, we are proud to support IDP Councils.” 

As an outcome of the forum, recommendations were passed concerning development of the IDP Council system, drawing upon shared practices and suggestions presented at the event.

The forum was organized by Chernivtsi City Council with support from UNHCR and UNDP in Ukraine, with financial support from the European Union under the “EU4Recovery – Empowering Communities in Ukraine” (EU4Recovery) project.

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail:

EU, UNDP, and UNHCR join in forum on integration of IDPs in Chernivtsi