The “Stand with Ukraine” program, a partnership between Finance in Motion, the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), and the Green for Growth Fund (GGF), began in March 2022, as a result of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The objective of this program was to mobilize resources and support for our partner institutions, Ukrainian people, and businesses affected by the war in Ukraine.
The program, which supported 15 projects in 2022, seeks to combine the financial resources and coordination efforts of the EFSE Development Facility (EFSE DF), the GGF Technical Assistance Facility (GGF TAF), and Finance in Motion in order to ensure our partners’ business continuity, address immediate needs, and join the long-term reconstruction efforts within Ukraine. So far, EUR 2 million has been committed to the program.
For us at Finance in Motion, this program hits home – some colleagues from our office in Kyiv have relocated to our headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, and they helped us focus our efforts where they are needed most. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this outstanding initiative designed to assist our partners in Ukraine in withstanding the unprecedented challenges resulting from the war”, said Olha Buchma, Technical Assistance Management Analyst at Finance in Motion.
Various teams joined forces with colleagues from Ukraine to best address the needs on the ground in light of a fast-developing brutal conflict and understand how to maximize the impact to the benefit of our partners as well as Ukrainian businesses and people. One such example is the Businesses in Action project supported by both the GGF TAF and the EFSE DF, which aims to support with grants over 20 small and medium enterprises and greentechs to remain operational.
In order to effect change across the board, the “Stand with Ukraine” program builds on three pillars:
1) Immediate needs, including support with relocating critical staff and addressing basic infrastructure emergencies
In 2022, Finance in Motion decided to make a donation to eight humanitarian organizations in Ukraine to provide much-needed assistance to people who have been affected by the war. Furthermore, Finance in Motion employees are actively involved in several internal initiatives, which aim to support the Ukrainian people as they face a plethora of issues as a result of the war, including blackouts and other infrastructure disruptions. For example, Finance in Motion has purchased generators in Germany and worked with a Ukrainian NGO to ship them to various parts of the country, supporting such institutions as schools and orphanages.
2) Employment & careers
Through this program, Ukrainian IT professionals have the opportunity to connect with companies in the EU on the TechTalents platform, while Ukrainian students can receive scholarships and online certificates from leading educational service providers enabling better career prospects and growth. This pillar also supports a training program for women from Ukraine and Moldova with the goal to enhance the economic potential of women and sustain entrepreneurship development in the context of the current conflict. So far, about 150 women, 75 of whom are Ukrainian, have been equipped with the knowledge and skills to enable them to earn an income as professionals and/or entrepreneurs.
3) Sustaining businesses
As business continuity is essential to the survival of the economy, this program sustains small and medium-sized enterprises as well as greentech companies, while offering emergency support to social enterprises in Ukraine. To date, the projects included in the “Stand with Ukraine” program have contributed to rendering the Ukrainian financial and entrepreneurship ecosystems more resilient and sustainable.
For example, GGF, EFSE, and Finance in Motion teamed up to support Bank Lviv in Ukraine to reinforce its digital infrastructure and ensure smooth continuity of operations by establishing an effective data recovery infrastructure. Specifically, support was provided to Bank Lviv to upgrade its backup cloud services, set up a backup operation centre, relocate the staff of critical departments and train them on relevant safety and security aspects. Tamar Tkhelidze, Deputy Chairperson of the Management Board of Bank Lviv, said: “We appreciate and are very grateful to the EFSE and GGF teams, who were ready to take actions from the very beginning to support the smooth continuity of Bank Lviv’s critical services. Together we managed to setup a backup site in the cloud in EU and build up an operation center as network backup hub for the branches and critical employees.”
The “Stand with Ukraine” program partners remain committed to further support financial institutions and businesses on the ground and are very much looking forward to the day the war ends. We continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine and its people as we are preparing to help rebuild and reconstruct the country.