Supporting medical workers: EU and UNDP implement a new training programme

Medical workers learning how to provide psychological first aid to survivors of sexual violence

January 10, 2023

Training on psychosocial support for medical workers accompanying survivors of sexual violence, Vinnytsia, 3 November 2022.

Photo credit: Olena Kulik / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 10 January 2023 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine, with financial support from the European Union, organized a series of training sessions on psychosocial support for medical workers accompanying survivors of sexual violence. Seven training events, targeting over 120 participants, took place in October-December 2022 in Chernihiv, Dnipro, Poltava, and Vinnytsia.

The purpose of the training was to develop medical workers’ skills to recognize, establish contact with and provide psychological first aid to people who have experienced sexual violence. The training programme included theoretical and practical exercises to acquire more information about the features of stress, trauma and post-traumatic conditions; to familiarize the participants with the emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioural signs of sexual abuse; to know how to create a safe space, to provide psychological first aid, and to redirect persons if necessary, taking into account ethical and legal aspects related to sexual violence.

Frederik Coene, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Ukraine, noted that social services should be sustained, including sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support for survivors. “The war has had an unacceptable impact on human rights. This is why it is so important to equip medical workers with the knowledge and skills to support sexual violence survivors most professionally,” he added. “Together with our partners, we are making every effort to ensure that these training programmes reach the target audiences.”

Christophoros Politis, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, said that UNDP is bolstering social protection services in partnership with international organizations and local civil society. “We are grateful to the European Union for its continuous support for building the capacity of medical workers throughout Ukraine,” he added. “We believe that, in addition to better provision of services, it will also help to prevent professional and emotional burnout among medical workers in times of war.”

UNDP organized a series of training sessions within the UN Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme and with the European Union’s financial support.


The United Nations Recovery and Peacebuilding Programme (UN RPP) 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 Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

Eleven international partners support the Programme: The European Union (EU), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and the governments of Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

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

Training on psychosocial support for medical workers accompanying sexual violence survivors