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Support of the Confederation for the people affected by the war in Ukraine


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Delivering relief supplies

Since the outbreak of the war, the Swiss Confederation has transported over 1,400 tonnes of relief supplies from Switzerland to Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, including medical equipment, generators and winter clothing. It has also purchased over 4,765 tonnes of essential foodstuffs to support the population. Switzerland has since made further urgently needed deliveries to those affected by the war, including 25 ambulances and 13 fire engines. The next transport for Ukraine in spring 2024 will provide firefighting equipment, spare parts for fire engines, and vaccination kits for children and adults.

Mental health

The war has brought with it violence, uncertainty, physical injury, bereavement and separation from family members and other social contacts. This has had a severe psychological impact on the Ukrainian people, whose mental health recovery is vital to the country’s social resilience and reconstruction. As part of the project ‘Mental Health for Ukraine’, the SDC is assisting institutions that work in war-trauma rehabilitation, promoting the training of specialists in healthcare institutions, and helping the Ukrainian authorities develop the legal framework to support mental health. The project is a joint endeavour between the SDC, the University Hospital of Psychiatry Zurich, and the University of Zurich.

Humanitarian mine action

Switzerland is supporting humanitarian mine action by organisations such as the Fondation suisse de déminage (FSD) to help clear areas of mines and unexploded ordnance and to disarm these munitions if necessary. This is vital in ensuring people can safely return to their homes, farm their land, repair destroyed infrastructure and access humanitarian aid, and makes humanitarian mine action fundamental to the rebuilding of Ukraine. Switzerland is also working closely with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), for example on the strategic planning of Ukraine’s mine action programme.

Digitalisation of public services

As a result of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine, millions of citizens have been displaced within Ukraine or to third countries. Government employees are among the refugees in a number of regions. The attacks have made it harder for people to access public services and exercise their democratic rights. Switzerland has for some time supported the digitalisation of services and implementation of reforms via the project E-Governance for Accountability and Participation. This ensures Ukrainians can continue to access key services during the war, for example requesting digital ID cards and registering births and new companies.

Trams for Ukraine

Many displaced people have made their way to Lviv since the war began, and a large number of companies have also been relocated there. The city’s public transport network is becoming increasingly important, and part of its tram fleet also needs to be replaced. The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is therefore preparing the transport to Lviv in summer 2024 of eleven decommissioned low-floor trams from Bern’s public transport operator. To ensure the trams can be independently operated and maintained there, SECO is funding a training placement in Bern this spring for public transport workers from Lviv. The project also comprises a study on the modernisation of the traffic management centre and an evaluation of ways to modernise the tram network.

Supporting urban development

Switzerland is supporting a number of Ukrainian cities with structural and spatial development, working in Vinnytsia, Chernivtsi, Poltava, Lviv, Zhytomyr, Kharkiv, Melitopol, Mykolaiv and the Podil district of Kyiv. Since February 2022, the project has focused on reconstruction and urban planning, as well as helping cities to manage the influx of internally displaced persons and the resulting pressures on the public sector, infrastructure and utilities.

Supporting eco-industrial parks

Joining an eco-industrial park allows businesses to conserve resources and make production more efficient. Switzerland is supporting western Ukraine in dealing with the impact of the war, identifying suitable industrial parks, helping to reorganise supply chains, and determining measures to increase resource efficiency. The project’s key objective is to demonstrate that eco-industrial parks are a feasible and attractive means of increasing productivity and improving a company’s economic, ecological and social performance. The Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme could also prove an effective tool for revitalising industrial production after the war.

Searching for missing persons

Learning what happened to missing persons is an essential requirement for strengthening society and achieving lasting peace. That is why Switzerland is working to help locate and identify missing persons in Ukraine. It has provided the Ukrainian authorities with computer equipment and materials for conducting DNA analysis to enable the rapid identification of mortal remains. This support has also made it possible to open 18 regional offices that coordinate the location and identification of missing persons. Switzerland is also co-financing the activities of the ICRC’s Central Tracing Agency for the war in Ukraine.

Water and wastewater supply

Mostly old infrastructure from the Soviet era is additionally damaged or destroyed along the front line by the active conflict. The Swiss federal government supplies replacement materials and, with the help of Swiss engineers, realises construction projects to prevent critical infrastructure (water, wastewater, central heating system) from collapsing. Where construction projects are not possible due to the security situation, the drinking water supply system is supported with treatment plants and water deliveries.

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