9 December 2021 

To keep Ukrainian businesses afloat and help them economically recover and adjust their operations in the uncertain times of the global pandemic, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, Mission in Ukraine has launched a new project funded by the Government of Germany through the KFW Development Bank. Titled “SME Boost:  Economic Integration of Internally Displaced People and Business Recovery”, the project will focus on creating new opportunities for the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in key sectors of the economy by providing stimulus packages and technical expertise. With this EUR 10 million funding, the German Government, via KfW Development Bank, will continue supporting economic integration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and will additionally boost economic recovery nationwide helping entrepreneurs to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine, and Kurt Strasser, Head of KfW Representative Office in Ukraine and Moldova, signing an agreement. 25 November 2021. Photo IOM Ukraine.

According to the UN analysis[1], while generating 80 per cent of employment, these businesses suffered disproportionately from the shockwaves sent by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IOM survey, 49 per cent of businesses owned by  IDPs had to shut down their operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine[2].

The project will be implemented until the end of May 2024 in partnership with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories. With IOM support, entrepreneurs will be able to retain jobs and create new decent employment opportunities for populations at risk of poverty, protecting vulnerable workers and promoting sustainable economic growth in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through the project, IOM will support MSMEs, social enterprises and cooperatives with grants, which will be used for the development of new and innovative business models, enabling them to survive the crisis. IDPs and conflict-affected populations who owned their business and are at risk of losing the only source of income, will be supported with tailored stimulus packages allowing them to sustain the operations. Similar support will be provided to  returned migrants and their families, former victims of trafficking and domestic violence who either have started their micro-enterprises with IOM support or seek opportunities to launch a business.

In addition to financial assistance, identified businesses will be also supported with trainings to ensure that the best practices, including sustainability standards, are integrated into their operations.

“Focusing on boosting entrepreneurship, the project will address simultaneously several aspects important for Ukraine’s economic recovery – from the integration of the conflict-affected population to leveraging remittances inflows in the country. IOM continued partnership with KfW gives us an opportunity to support the Government of Ukraine’s efforts and work with the most affected businesses, contributing to economic recovery from the compound crisis,” said Kateryna Ardanyan, Migration and Development Officer at IOM Ukraine.

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) with financing provided through KfW since 2016 supports IOM’s effort to integrate IDPs alleviating economic and social impact of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. In November 2021, the Government of Germany has committed additional EUR 20 million to advance this work strengthening livelihoods opportunities for IDPs and conflict-affected populations, and supporting socioeconomic recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.