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Minister of State Desmond Swayne visit to Ukraine

International Development Minister Desmond Swayne has met with people displaced by conflict in Ukraine at a photo-exhibition in the country.

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The exhibition shows the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the country, including portraits of displaced Ukrainian people. 2.6 million people have been forced from their homes since the outbreak of conflict in 2014

Since 2014 the UK has provided over £16.4 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine to support the most vulnerable with lifesaving assistance. This aid has reached over 600,000 people, providing 300,000 people with medical assistance, 25,000 vulnerable people with shelter and 20,000 women with reproductive health services.

As well as working to help alleviate the humanitarian situation UK aid is helping to build a more prosperous future for Ukraine.

During the visit Minister Swayne outlined further support to aid Ukraine’s economic recovery and provide job opportunities for people displaced by the conflict. This new £1 million funding to UNDP will provide training in entrepreneurship for displaced people and host communities as well as grants for micro, small and medium sized businesses to grow or relocate.

Writing in Ukrainian news outlet, European Pravda, Minister Swayne said:

Britain has stood shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people since the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ in May 2014.

Despite so many crises around the world we must not turn a blind eye to the situation in Ukraine. Supporting the people of Ukraine is right thing to do.

People took to the streets to demand a better future and closer links to the EU. Security and prosperity is what the people of Ukraine want and helping the country secure this is good for us in the UK and the EU too.

The humanitarian situation is not the only challenge facing Ukraine. The country is grappling with a range of radical economic and governance reforms to set the country on a new path. There has been progress.

However, there is rightly demand from civil society and the general public for more. This is especially true of the fight against corruption – one of the major obstacles on the way to a stable, secure and successful Ukraine.

The coming weeks and months will be crucial for Ukraine’s future. They offer a chance for Ukraine’s government, political parties and civil society to work together constructively for the benefit of all. The UK stands ready to support such efforts.

While in Kyiv the Minister also discussed with Ukrainian counterparts how to meet the mounting humanitarian needs caused by the onset of winter.

Published 13 November 2015