Kyiv, UKRAINE, 25 September 2019. The Government of Germany through KfW Development Bank has provided EUR 5 million to the UN Children’s Fund to support social services in conflict-affected eastern Ukraine. The project “JOINTLY. Social services for families in communities” will be implemented jointly by UNICEF and its five partner NGOs, chaired by the Ukrainian Child Rights Network, in 2019 – 2020.
The funds will be used to establish multifunctional centres for social services in local communities in Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, as well as for educational and methodological support: training of case managers, training on budgeting for social services, and developing collaboration in communities for efficient delivery of social services.
The project will work with 12 local communities in eastern Ukraine, but it is planned to scale up the positive experience to other communities and oblasts in Ukraine. During the project, about 100,000 community residents will receive social services in the new format. These cover families with children, including children with disabilities, internally displaced families, low-income families and youth.
The project’s goal is to develop an integrated social services model that will identify and respond to risks in a timely manner, and to provide communities with the infrastructure needed to deliver services and thus bring them closer to recipients. Local authorities will be able to develop service packages autonomously, taking into account the needs in their particular communities. This will ensure that services are as available and accessible as possible, and avoid the unnecessary repeat visits.
“Due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, families with children with disabilities face many hardships. It happens sometimes that parents fail and leave their child in the institutions. We want children to live in families, and parents to feel that they are being supported to educate and care for their children,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Representative in Ukraine.
“Decentralization reform in Ukraine has provided local authorities with new opportunities, including in the area of social services. Municipalities have local knowledge and are closer to the people, and thus are in a position to offer tailored social support, which can be both effective and efficient. However, in many cases local authorities lack the capacity and technical expertise to deliver social services. Moreover, suitable infrastructure is often not available to deliver quality services. This is why it is necessary to support communities to set up well-functioning systems, share the best international experience, and ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place for service provision. The Government of Germany is supporting decentralization reform at all levels, and will continue to contribute to implementation of best practice in Ukrainian communities,” said Kurt Strasser, Director of KfW Office Ukraine and Moldova.