The coronavirus pandemic is pushing the Ukrainian economy into the worst recession in recent decades. This conclusion was made by experts who prepared and presented to the Ukrainian government the results of a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the pandemic on the socio-economic situation in the country.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in Ukraine, about 170 thousand confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been registered. More than 3.4 thousand cases have died from COVID-19. To get the most complete picture of the impact of the pandemic on life in Ukraine, various United Nations entities have conducted more than 50 socio-economic studies. From the conclusions of UN experts, it follows that since March this year, 84 percent of Ukrainian families have faced a decrease in their income, 43 percent - with the loss of a job at least one of the family members.
Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Dafina Gercheva believes that Ukraine should prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.
“The efforts that we are making urgently now are designed to soften the blow of the pandemic and set Ukraine up for a post-crisis revival. We hope that after the pandemic, the country will become stronger and more stable than ever before, ”she said.
According to the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmyhal, at the very beginning of the pandemic, the government set itself the task of finding a balance between the inevitable restrictions aimed at countering the spread of the virus and maintaining a steady pace of economic development.
“As a result, we came up with the idea of the so-called adaptive quarantine. This allowed us to quickly respond to outbreaks in certain regions without having to shut down the entire country, ”Shmygal said.
The Ukrainian prime minister added that the government is currently developing a set of measures to resume economic growth. This plan includes support for small and medium-sized businesses, privatization of state-owned enterprises and stimulating consumer demand.
UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine Osnat Lubrani told Prime Minister Shmygal that all UN offices in Ukraine enthusiastically support the Crisis Coordination Management Group under the Prime Minister's Office, created at the initiative of UNDP. This group advises the Ukrainian government on pressing social and economic issues.
“I have to praise the actions of the cabinet. The current crisis gave the government a tangible impetus towards improving fiscal policy, strengthening social assistance and fighting corruption, taking into account the state of the environment and climate change, ”said Osnat Lubrani.
How to accelerate the recovery of the national economy of Ukraine
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant damage to the industrial sector: the measures taken by the government of this country to slow the spread of the coronavirus hit hard, primarily on small and medium-sized enterprises. According to the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, since the beginning of the pandemic, about 700 thousand small enterprises in the service sector have closed in the country, which led to the loss of 3.5 to 4 million jobs.
In order to revive the country's industrial sector, the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine has joined forces with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). As a result of bilateral cooperation, an innovative Industry4Ukraine platform was developed, which allows several dozen industry associations, interdepartmental organizations and other stakeholders to coordinate their actions.
On the basis of the new platform, UNIDO and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine held a series of online conferences with the participation of experts in order to find ways to improve the situation in the industrial sector. From May to July 2020, more than 300 people took part in the discussions on this topic, including representatives of the Ukrainian government, the presidential administration, regional authorities, and the technological and industrial sectors of the economy.
“Ukrainian business is quickly adapting to new realities. Due to the lack of opportunities for entrepreneurs to physically participate in trade exhibitions and business meetings, the popularity of virtual tools that help to find business partners and conclude transactions online is growing rapidly, ”says Tatiana Miskova, Acting Director of the Export Promotion Department, a government agency. created to support the export of goods and services of Ukrainian producers.
Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Taras Kachka emphasizes that the Ukrainian government uses differentiated approaches to support various industrial sectors.
“For enterprises that are integrated into the pan-European market, logistics support, assistance in passing customs control, mediation in solving labor problems and financial predictability are important