Results around the world – Ukraine
Following its Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukraine faced daunting political and economic challenges. Though Ukraine has achieved significant progress, the country’s democratic and economic reform efforts are being heavily impacted by the protracted conflict in eastern Ukraine. The conflict poses a threat not only to the country’s territorial integrity but to its social, economic and political development.
Canada’s development assistance to Ukraine aims to reduce poverty in the country by supporting efforts to stabilize the economy and reduce citizens’ vulnerability. Canada’s assistance also aims to strengthen the country’s democracy through increased citizen participation in the democratic process, a strengthened independent media and judiciary, and the promotion of the rule of law. Through its current development programming, Canada is one of the central supporters of Ukraine’s democratic and economic reform efforts, particularly in critical areas such as governance, fiscal and agricultural reforms.
In January 2018, Canada supported a seven-day study mission for key civil servants responsible for reforming governance in Ukraine. The delegation learned from Canada’s Privy Council Office, Treasury Board Secretariat, Status of Women Canada (Gender-based Analysis Plus [GBA+] impact assessment), Department of Finance, Public Service Commission and other government departments. Since the study mission, Canada has been working with Ukraine’s Secretariat of Cabinet of Ministers to improve government management processes based on Canadian practices, such as policy impact assessments, ministerial mandate letters, Cabinet confidentiality and delegation of authorities.
Furthermore, Canada-supported experts helped draft legislation to create a single-window system for customs offices, which will significantly reduce the time needed for goods crossing the Ukrainian border to clear customs, simplify customs clearance procedures, reduce the space for corruption and, generally, improve Ukraine’s investment attractiveness.
This past year, Canada partnered with Internews International on a $2-million project to strengthen communications with conflict-affected communities in Ukraine by increasing media content covering their issues and ensuring that conflict-affected people have access to independent quality media. This year, in partnership with the Knygolove publishing house, the project created and published the children’s book “Girl Power: Little Stories of Big Acts,” empowering girls from conflict-affected Ukraine by telling stories of successful Ukrainian women who managed to develop their communities and overcome hardships, including those caused by conflict and displacement. The book shows women in “non-traditional” roles—such as information technology entrepreneurs, mathematicians, doctors and soldiers—and is designed to promote gender equality and to inspire those who have been affected and/or displaced by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Over 5,000 copies of the book have been disseminated for free to conflict-affected families and their communities.
In the agricultural sector, Canada partnered with SOCODEVI (Société de coopération pour
le développement international) on an almost $20-million project to combat pervasive rural poverty in Ukraine, particularly among rural women, by strengthening small-scale dairy family farms and improving access to quality inputs (such as fertilizers and seeds) and larger markets through cooperative management. As a result, 1,200 dairy farmers—over 700 of whom were women—benefited from lower input costs, better access to equipment and technology, and better prices for their milk by being members of a cooperative. The project has also introduced simple process mechanization (milking, feeding), which reduced women’s workload by 9%, equalized the workload between men and women, and freed women to participate in skills acquisition and decision-making, including through the Women Farmers Business Network, launched in 2016. This greater empowerment of women is demonstrated in cooperative management—out of 12 cooperatives, 6 have women as their presidents.
Moreover, Canada partnered with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) on an almost $20-million project to enable small and medium-sized farmers in Ukraine to increase their revenues by improving product quality and facilitate their access to larger markets. By connecting small farmers, including those with small kitchen gardens, to cool storage and bulk distributors, Canada enabled small and medium-sized farmers to increase their sales of horticultural products by 22,900 metric tons—a 52% increase in sales over last year.
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