Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe, with a population of more than 45 million, has close and longstanding ties to Canada.

Ukraine achieved independence in August 1991 upon the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, almost a quarter century later, Ukraine is still struggling to consolidate democracy and lay the foundations for economic prosperity. After several years of democratic and economic deterioration, which led to the so-called "Revolution of Dignity" of 2013-14, Ukraine now has an historic opportunity to transform itself from a centralized, often inefficient economy struggling with significant corruption issues to a European-style country governed by democratic values and the rule of law.

On March 21, 2014, Ukraine's interim government and the European Union signed the political sections of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. On May 25, 2014, despite significant difficulties in parts of the east and south of the country, Ukrainians came out in large numbers to elect their president, Petro Poroshenko. Ukraine's government has committed to implementing democratic and economic reforms in line with its European aspirations, including, inter alia: constitutional reform in conformity with European standards, including local self-government reform and decentralization; judicial and legal reform, including implementation of genuine anti-corruption efforts; Public sector reform, with a focus on public administration and public financial management; macroeconomic management reform, including banking sector reform; energy sector reform; electoral reform; and education reform.

Canada is among the strongest international supporters of Ukraine's European aspirations and its democratic and economic reform processes. Prime Minister Harper was the first G-7 leader to visit Ukraine after the Euromaidan protests, and the first foreign leader to meet bilaterally with President Poroshenko following his inauguration on June 7, 2014. Canada is providing significant support to help Ukraine implement needed economic reforms and to promote democratic and social development.

Thematic Focus

In 2014, Ukraine was confirmed as a country of focus for the Government of Canada's international development efforts.

The goal of Canada's international development program in Ukraine is to improve economic opportunities for Ukrainians in a strengthened democracy. Canada worked with Ukraine to establish a central voter registry to improve election laws and to improve the capacity of the Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine to administer the electoral process. An independent judiciary and active opposition are vital components of an effective democracy and Canada will continue to support Ukrainian efforts towards a free, democratic and prosperous society.

Canada is working with the Government of Ukraine to assist with the reforms needed to realize the country's full economic potential and build a sound public institutional and legal environment for closer integration with Europe.

Canada has increased its support for democracy and rule of law in Ukraine since 2013, in response to recommendations by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, while continuing to support sustainable economic growth in Ukraine.

Economic growth

Canada supports efforts to improve the business-enabling environment, restore confidence in financial institutions and increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises, including in the agricultural sector, by diversifying skills and increasing access to credit. Canada also supports economic growth through interventions aimed at strengthening public institutions built on the rule of law and accountability. Increased attention will be paid to improving the business-enabling environment and the development of small and medium enterprises.

Key anticipated results

  • More modern and environmentally sustainable management practices among small and medium enterprises and farms, particularly those led by women.
  • Improved cooperation among small and medium enterprises to achieve economies of scale.
  • Improved business environment for small and medium enterprises and farms, particularly those led by women

Advancing democracy

Canada supports Ukraine's effort to enhance the integrity of its democratic institutions and practices, placing an emphasis on reforming public institutions and the judicial system, as well as supporting civil society organizations and media, to ensure effective, accountable and transparent decision-making. Particular attention is given to promoting free and fair elections, and to supporting reform of the legal framework.

Key anticipated results

  • Increased equitable access to justice for women and men, particularly those from marginalized groups.
  • Improved participation of citizens, particularly women, in public life and decision-making.

Progress on aid effectiveness

Canada is the sixth-largest bilateral donor in Ukraine. Canada will continue to build Ukraine's capacity to engage in donor coordination by encouraging joint monitoring of projects and playing an active role in several donor working groups.

Canada has developed a reputation as a trusted partner in governance and private-sector development and has become a leader in building capacity and transferring best practices, which are now being emulated by other donors.



Achievements 2012-2013

Economic growth

  • Supported 6,887 small horticulture farmers increase their annual income by an average of 71 percent by providing technical assistance on modern agriculture technology and practices.
  • Provided training and technical support to 3,324 dairy farmers in Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv regions, allowing them to increase their milk production by an average of 20 percent.
  • Supported 12 Ukrainian cities develop strategic economic development plans and create economic development agencies and business support centres for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).
  • Helped six cities and two regions develop their economic forecasting and modeling capacity to support their strategic planning efforts.

Advancing democracy

  • Supported the development of a new legislation and a policy framework for a comprehensive juvenile justice system encompassing prevention, sentencing and rehabilitation.
  • Sent an election observation mission of 500 Canadians to observe the 2012 parliamentary elections.
  • Increased court efficiency and fairness in resolving commercial disputes for Ukrainian businesses by piloting pre-trial settlement procedures.

Achievements 2011-2012

Economic growth

  • Trained 600 civil servants and others in strategic planning, project management and alternative financing for regional economic development.
  • Improved the business environment by streamlining and simplifying burdensome administrative and regulatory procedures, and increasing the accountability and effectiveness of public institutions.
  • Helped the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provide HIV/AIDS treatment to 5,300 people, and detect and treat 10,000 cases of tuberculosis between 2002 and 2012.

Food security

  • Increased horticultural production to 10,000 tonnes of produce worth $8 million.
  • Provided technical assistance to 3,390 dairy farmers, resulting in increased milk yields, better milk quality, and increased profits.
  • Supported co-ops that helped 5,421 smallholder farmers increase their competitiveness through the cultivation of higher-value crops, increasing farmers' income by 60 percent since 2009.


  • Improved the rule of law through reforms to the judicial system, and strengthened democratic institutions for free and fair elections.
  • Piloted youth justice programs, including youth crime prevention, specialized court processes for young offenders, and a rehabilitation program for young people.

Achievements 2010-2011

Economic growth

  • Helped reduce regulatory red tape, resulting in $24 million in annual cost savings to the private sector since 2009-2010.
  • Support in reducing the time and cost of business regulatory compliance requirements has improved or cancelled 60 inspections procedures since 2009-2010, exceeding the target of 50.
  • Established a leadership program for Ukrainian civil servants in 2010-2011, reaching 150 senior officials out of 600.

Food security

  • Increased the number of small-scale farmers receiving technical assistance to improve crop income by 2,010 over 2009-2010, resulting in more than 3,300 beneficiaries.
  • Helped 495 small scale farmers access credit to improve their operations-an increase of 46 percent in 2009-2010.
  • Helped increase the volume of greenhouse vegetables and table grapes sold by farm groups by 90 percent in 2009-2010.
  • Helped increase cow milk production in the summer by 35 percent in 2009-2010.

Although Canada does not have direct programming in MNCH in Ukraine Canada has improved the health of women and children by working with Canadian and global partners. See all maternal, newborn and child health projects in Ukraine.

Visit the Canada delivers results for the world’s women and children page for more information.

International development projects in Ukraine

Map of projects in Ukraine
Call for Proposals

2012-2013 CIDA disbursements in Ukraine

Total: $31.11 million

Project Browser - Ukraine