Germany allocates EUR 10 million for integrated social services and Covid-19 response in eastern Ukrainian communities

19 February 2021

KYIV, 22 February 2021. The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will extend development services for families with children in communities in eastern Ukraine, financed through a EUR 10 million grant made available by the German Government through KfW. The grant forms part of the project „Promotion of social services in eastern Ukraine against the background of the Covid-19 outbreak" by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.

In 2019 - 2020, UNICEF launched the KFW-funded “SPILNO. Social Services for Families in Communities” project in 12 pilot communities in eastern Ukraine. The new contribution will allow to expand to new programmatic areas and communities in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The project is targeted at creating best practices for the provision of social services in the recently amalgamated communities (Hromady), and at supporting those new administrative structures to effectively tackle the responsibility transferred to them as a part of the decentralization process. The best practices developed in the realm of the project will be suitable for roll-out and application throughout the country, thus benefitting not just the participating hromady in Luhansk and Donetsk regions.

The project will develop social services in communities, promote the value of inclusive education, secure access to safe and clean water, and youth civic engagement, and will improve the accessibility of education facilities. Together, these will contribute to social cohesion and welfare of families in conflict-affected communities.

Over 500,000 people in eastern Ukraine will benefit from the project.

A major focus is on families with children, including vulnerable ones, such as families raising children with disabilities, internally displaced families and others.

In particular, the project will further expand integrated community-level social services to identify family needs and potential risks, and address them in a timely manner through relevant support services.

The project will improve the quality of inclusive preschool, primary and secondary education through training for teachers focusing on skills required for teaching children with special educational needs, and minor structural improvements for school facilities to improve physical accessibility for children with disabilities. 

To prevent vulnerabilities arising and to foster social cohesion, the project offers opportunities for children and youth, such as sports, civic engagement and skills building, renovation of community-based youth infrastructure, youth participation and promotion of social entrepreneurship. 

Another important project component is ensuring access to safe and clean water in communities in need, through support to water utility companies.

All components of the project are designed to contribute to increase the resilience of people affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes provision of protective equipment for service staff, awareness and educational activities in schools and youth centers, safe water for personal hygiene, and motivating young people to become “ambassadors” in their peer groups for risk minimizing behavior without stigmatizing youths who did get infected.

COVID-19 has deepened the crisis in regions that have been suffering from armed conflict for six years. Over the last year, the demand for social services in communities in eastern Ukraine has grown significantly. Local governments are facing the need for an emergency response and, at the same time, the need to build up a coherent system able to prevent the difficulties facing families with children. This is a challenge that our project should help with. It is important to create an environment where families feel supported and confident, to make it possible for children, including children with disabilities, to learn and develop unimpeded while remaining with their families,“ said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.

Ukraine is going through a very important stage in the restructuring of its social system and bringing services closer to the level of communities. The wellbeing of vulnerable groups and communities depends on how local authorities can cope with this task. At this turning point, the Government of Germany is becoming a partner for those regions of Ukraine, weakened by the military situation and the consequences of the pandemic. We hope that the next two years will bring lasting results, and lead to a sustainable change enabling communities to support themselves and prosper on their own,” highlighted German Ambassador, H.E. Anka Feldhusen, Ambassador of Germany to Ukraine.

UNICEF is inviting new communities to participate in the project in eastern Ukraine. Communities in Luhansk and Donetsk regions interested in joining the project are welcomed to apply using the following link


For more information on German projects in the field of development cooperation, please see:



Media contacts

Nina Sorokopud
Chief of Communication
UNICEF in Ukraine
Tel: +380675050056


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