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Build Forward: NGO recommendations on Ukraine recovery and reconstruction

June 28, 2023

It has been 15 months since the Russian Federation launched a full-scale military offensive in Ukraine, dramatically escalating the war that had been ongoing since 2014. These hostilities have inflicted a massive human and economic toll on families and children across the country.This paper, a collaboration between Ukrainian and international civil society and NGOs, aimed to inform participants of the second Ukraine Recovery Conference on how to meet immediate needs while taking steps towards Ukraine's recovery and eventual reconstruction. It emphasises the importance of adopting an inclusive, human-centric, child-centric and gender-just approach, anticipating major risks that may jeopardise reconstruction efforts, and proposes recommendations along with mitigation measures that can be taken at present.

Ukraine's Anti-Corruption Front: Helping Ukrainians Win the War and the Peace by Having Their Backs against Oligarchy

June 20, 2023

Remarkably, while fighting for their lives against Russian invasion, Ukrainians continue to wage their long internal battle against oligarchy and corruption. Ukraine is midway through this generational struggle, which began on the streets of the Maidan in Kyiv nearly a decade ago. In 2014, after deposing a kleptocratic president whose campaigns were bankrolled by agents of the Kremlin, Ukrainians got to work transforming this post-Soviet oligarchy into a modern European state under the rule of law.Continuing to uproot oligarchy—a critical part of winning the war, rebuilding the country, and preparing for EU accession—will require heavy domestic and foreign support. Anti-corruption must be central in that support. This issue drove Ukrainians into the streets a decade ago. It has topped voters' minds in every Ukrainian election since, helped trigger the largest war in Europe since WWII, and is now motivating Ukrainians to win even at enormous cost. Transparency and accountability mechanisms are essential to reassuring Western taxpayers that their wartime aid to Ukraine is safeguarded. They must also be key conditions of the ambitious reconstruction and European modernization that will inspire freedom's cause globally. Countering corruption is as strategically vital today as the policy of containing communism was in the Cold War.

Nations in Transit 2023: War Deepens a Regional Divide

May 24, 2023

In 2023, Democracy Scores declined in 11 out of the 29 countries in the report, and 7 countries earned improvements. Yet civic activists and democratic leaders continued to strive for better governance across the diverse region.Key Findings:For the 19th consecutive year, democratic governance suffered an overall decline in the region stretching from Central Europe to Central Asia.Democratic institutions stood strong in Ukraine but collapsed further in Russia.On illiberal populism, European Union member states pursued diverging paths.EU hopefuls made democratic progress, but still face daunting obstacles.Autocracies remained trapped in a vicious circle of repression and instability.

Displaced Ukrainians in European Labour Markets: Leveraging Innovations for More Inclusive Integration

May 17, 2023

The war in Ukraine has led millions of displaced Ukrainians to seek protection in European countries since February 2022, and welcoming new arrivals has put enormous pressure on reception and integration systems. But with the right supports, displaced Ukrainians could also potentially help address some of Europe's pervasive skill shortages. Many newcomers have a tertiary education, and the EU decision to activate the Temporary Protection Directive has provided swift access to clear residence and work rights.Early evidence suggests that displaced Ukrainians' labor market entry is progressing well, with many working-age adults finding jobs. However, challenges such as language barriers, difficulties getting foreign credentials recognized, and trouble securing child care have limited some Ukrainians' ability to enter the labor market and find a job commensurate with their skills. A desire among many to return to Ukraine, as circumstances allow, is also shaping their decisions about finding work and participating in integration and training programs.

Care in Crisis: Failures to guarantee the sexual and reproductive health and rights of refugees from Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia

May 16, 2023

This report from The Center for Reproductive Rights and eight partner organizations documents the gaps and barriers in access to sexual and reproductive healthcare and gender-based violence support services that are faced by refugees from Ukraine in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The report found that legal restrictions, burdensome costs, information shortfalls and other barriers, mean that some refugees are facing a harrowing choice between returning to Ukraine to access essential reproductive healthcare, accessing care outside legal pathways in their host countries or going without much-needed care, according to the new report.

Hope and uncertainty: A needs assessment of Ukrainian youth refugees in Romania and Moldova

May 4, 2023

Youth are a significant proportion of refugees fleeing from Ukraine, particularly female youth. In Romania and Moldova, more than half of the refugees there are between the ages of 18 and 59.The findings we discovered together show great needs amid strong hope for a secure future. Language was found to be an overarching need that affects every aspect of youth's lives. Economic support, through secure jobs and stable integration, are the most cited need. Ukrainian youth appreciated the safety of their host communities but still live with anxiety over their futures. Feelings of isolation and distance from family and friends displaced by the conflict contribute to the mental strain youth feel. Youth also have practical suggestions for how to serve their needs, calling for language support and community centers where they can connect meaningfully with their peers and communities.

Sending Arms or Twisting Arms: The U.S. Role in the Ukraine War

April 27, 2023

In the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the United States has backed the government in Kyiv with military hardware and economic assistance. The Biden administration has also done its best to constrain Russia's ability to wage war even as it has been careful not to provoke a direct confrontation or spur escalation on Russia's part.There are two primary scenarios for how the war plays out in the future. Either Ukraine will follow the "Croatia scenario" by pushing Russian troops entirely out of the country and potentially setting into motion the political downfall of Vladimir Putin. Or, in the "Korean scenario," the war will settle into a period of stalemate after the first year of surprising reversals.This backgrounder, prepared for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, explores the causes of the war in Ukraine and the actions of different actors in the conflict to date. It also lays out different scenarios for how the conflict may proceed depending on events both internationally and in the United States, and makes the case for a robust international diplomatic response whatever the war's outcome.

Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Ukraine: Addressing Protection Risks During Wartime

April 11, 2023

Ukraine has for many years been both a transit and destination country for people fleeing persecution and violence in other parts of the world. In 2021, approximately 5,000 asylum seekers and refugees were seeking refuge in Ukraine or in transit to the EU. This new report from Right to Protection (R2P) and HIAS finds that while these displaced people are heterogeneous, they share common vulnerabilities. Having already fled other conflicts or persecution, they do not have a safe home country to return to, may lack documents or even nationality, and are often denied consistent access to legal status due to serious shortcomings in Ukraine's asylum law and practice.

2022 Report Zagoriy Foundation

March 21, 2023

2022 was a turning point not only for Ukraine, but also for the world. The entire planet came to realize just how fragile security and peace are. At the same time, we have understood that we are building an ideal world with our own hands. it cannot come into existence on its own. Daily we fight for our decent future and happy life. We are surely witnessing social change that wields an undeniable influence on our lives. Changes in charity have probably struck us the most. The Ukrainian non-commercial sector has made a quantum leap in its development, with its period of activity still continuing. International community is also undergoing changes. First of all, its focus is being shifted, while the allocation of resources is changing as well as the realization of the potential of the countries, which will be leaders in future, is dawning. We continue to develop the culture of charity in Ukraine, while also implementing modern projects and developing the non-commercial sector for further growth. Our goal is to engage in sustainable and long-term work. The previous year has shown that our life can be full of worries. However, we have to remain strong and demonstrate our resilience and dedication to our own convictions. This is exactly what will define our future. Let us continue moving and believing in our strength. Let us create Great Stories together!

“We Must Provide a Family, Not Rebuild Orphanages”: The Consequences of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine for Children in Ukrainian Residential Institutions

March 13, 2023

This report documents risks to children from institutions in areas directly affected by the conflict as well as those evacuated to other areas of Ukraine or to European countries. According to government figures, Ukraine had more than 105,000 children in institutions before Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022, the largest number in Europe. Nearly half were children with disabilities, according to UNICEF. Russia bears responsibility for the crisis facing these children, but the war adds to the urgency for Ukraine, with support from foreign governments and humanitarian agencies, to stop institutionalizing children and expand family- and community-based care.

Welcoming Ukrainians: The Hosts' Perspective

March 13, 2023

A new report by More in Common finds that one year on from its launch the Homes for Ukraine scheme has been a broad success that should be celebrated and learned from. Drawing on public opinion research and a survey of over 1200 Homes for Ukraine hosts, More in Common finds: Support for the UK taking in refugees from Ukraine is strong and consistently so.The hosts' experience of the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive.Hosts and guests matched in a variety of ways.The community of hosts come from across British society.Most hosts are willing to continue hosting their guests, and would be willing to host new Ukrainian guests, either immediately or after a break.Hosts are open about the challenges they face and those their guests face as they settle in the UK.The key challenge hosts identified was the lack of support helping their guests to find appropriate alternative accommodation.Support from the government and local authorities has been patchy.There's an opportunity to build on the success of the Homes for Ukraine model across other welcoming efforts.

Supporting Civic Engagement in Times of War in Ukraine : Practical Insights

March 1, 2023

Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, foundations continue to support various actions in the civic space of the country. Grantmaking foundations are continuously looking for on-the-ground information, which can be difficult to garner in times of war, to help inform their grantmaking decisions.What data do funders rely on to support their interventions? Which areas require the highest amount of support? Where does Ukrainian civil society require the most assistance?This "practical insights" paper aims to shed light on these areas by highlighting various studies that have looked into these questions. The insights outlined aim to answer a set of questions, with the overarching aim of demonstrating to funders the intrinsic value of utilising research and data to help form interventions in Ukraine during this extremely challenging period for the country, but also for the international community. The paper is based on presentations and studies that were presented at the ninth "Philanthropy for Ukraine" online event organised on 21 October 2022 by Philea.