New online service to help displaced Ukrainians find shelter and employment abroad

UNDP and Government of Ukraine launch new virtual centre with information on legalizing one’s stay abroad and registering a business in European countries

Posted May 27, 2022
Illustration: Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine

KYIV, 27 May 2022 – The Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, together with Diia.Business, has launched an innovative hotline – a virtual Diia.Business centre. The centre aims to provide displaced persons from Ukraine in European countries with all the information they need about the rules and procedures for legalizing their stay, registering a business, finding employment or getting assistance. The project was initiated by the Office for Entrepreneurship and Export Development, along with the national Diia.Business project, and implemented by the NGO “Small And Medium Business Support Consulting Centre” with assistance from the UN Development Programme in Ukraine with financial support from Sweden.

Valeriya Ionan, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for European Integration, said the Government has adapted to the realities of war and is launching the types of services that people need most at the moment. “We’ve launched the first virtual Diia.Business centre to provide Ukrainians abroad with quick and high-quality support in a convenient and innovative format,” she said.

Manal Fouani, acting UNDP Ukraine Resident Representative said the war is wreaking unprecedented socio-economic calamity on all Ukrainians, from forced displacement to the loss of income and livelihoods. “The unfolding economic crisis requires urgent action,” she said. “The Government of Ukraine is acting swiftly and efficiently to address the needs of its citizens relying for the most part on digital solutions and existing institutional mechanisms. This new hotline will be an important instrument to support war-affected and relocated businesses and displaced persons. It will mainly avail information about shelters that could host those in need and connect them to the right service provider.”

The Virtual Diia.Business Centre will provide professional advice on employment, entrepreneurship and temporary registration in EU countries. During the pilot phase of the project, specialists will advise Ukrainians residing in seven countries: Bulgaria, Czechia, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia. The Centre will also provide necessary advice to internally displaced persons in Ukraine. After obtaining consultations, people will be given a tailor-made road map with a list of useful materials, information about contact centres, and other recommendations.

Tobias Thyberg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Sweden to Ukraine said Sweden is strongly committed to supporting Ukraine to tackle the humanitarian crisis caused by war. “Sweden is aiding Ukraine to provide assistance to the millions forced to flee their homes, who lost their livelihoods because of the war. Technology can expedite this process and the new chatbot can help them obtain the urgently needed advice on the job opportunities and registration procedures to regain the necessary life stability.”

Who will benefit from the new service?

1. Ukrainian citizens who in the wake of the war were forced to leave their homes and go abroad, and who are now looking for answers about how to legalize their stay and obtain financial support from the governments of EU host countries.

2. Entrepreneurs who want to temporarily move their business to other oblasts of Ukraine or to European countries.

3. Owners of small and medium businesses who were forced to go abroad and who plan to return to Ukraine.

What information is available?

1. Consultations on how to obtain temporary protection status or other ways to legalize their stay in a foreign country.

2. How to find a place to stay and resources through which Ukrainian citizens can find employment.

3. How to open a business in 7 EU countries and how to return to Ukraine later.

Andriy Remizov, acting director of the Entrepreneurship and Export Promotion Office, said: “Thousands of Ukrainians face many questions abroad about how to set up their lives in a new country. The lack of understanding of what steps to take next is often another painful shock. By creating a hotline and a support chatbot, we mainly aim to make the process of adapting to new realities as simple as possible for our citizens. After all, it’s extremely important to know where one can get support to develop an action plan to stay abroad and then return to Ukraine.”

Background

The initiative was implemented in the framework of the project “Digital, Inclusive, Accessible: Support to Digitalisation of Public Services in Ukraine Project” (DIA Support Project), which is implemented by UNDP in Ukraine with the financial support of Sweden. The DIA Support Project was launched in 2021 and aims to bridge the digital divide between different generations and different social groups. Its main goal is to increase the accessibility of new digital solutions so that every man and woman in the country can use public electronic services and no one is left behind.

Media inquiries:

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP in Ukraine, Yuliia.Samus@undp.org