Finland’s development cooperation in Ukraine

During 2021–2024 Country Programme, Finland’s bilateral cooperation with Ukraine will focus on improving the quality of teaching, strengthening the rule of law, reinforcing energy security and improving climate resilience. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Finland has increased its support and adjusted it so that it responds better to the acute distress and strengthens Ukrainian society in the midst of the war.

Finland has supported Ukraine through long-term development cooperation since 2014. This work guided by Finland’s Country Programme for development cooperation in Ukraine.

Ukraine has requested support from Finland, particularly to meet the immediate and longer-term needs related to education, the environment, and radiation safety. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs prepares Finland’s support to Ukraine in cooperation with other branches of government.

Finland has allocated EUR 37 million for the Country Programme in 2023. This will make Ukraine Finland’s biggest partner country in development cooperation.

Finland’s overall support to Ukraine was more than EUR 70 million in 2014–2021.

Finland’s development cooperation to improve the quality of teaching and strengthen the rule of law

Finland’s development cooperation will improve teaching practices and educational environments, enhance the attractiveness of vocational education and training and strengthen the implementation of the European standards related to the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

Further support for the education sector for the 2024–2027 period is currently being planned.

Goal: The reforms to improve teaching practices and to strengthen the rule of law are successful

  • Educational practices and environments in primary and secondary education improve
  • Vocational education and training is more attractive as an alternative to both men and women
  • The implementation of the European standards concerning the rule of law, democracy and human rights is strengthened

Ongoing projects and programmes

  • Project supporting a reform of the Ukrainian education sector in 2018–2023. The project’s budget is EUR 8 million, of which Finland accounts for EUR 6 million and the European Union for EUR 2 million.
  • Promoting a reform of vocational education and training in Ukraine. Finland’s contribution to the joint project totals EUR 3.5 million in 2020–2023.
  • Funding for OSCE projects in Ukraine. Finland’s contribution totals EUR 2 million in 2023.
  • The Council of Europe Action Plan for Ukraine. Finland’s support totals EUR 3 million in 2021–2022.
  • Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine. Finland’s contribution totals EUR 4 million in 2022–2023.
  • The World Bank’s multi-donor trust funds that help the Ukrainian government pay the wages of public-service and school employees and sustain the public sector’s ability to deliver public and basic services. Finland’s support to the funds totals EUR 35 million in 2022–2023.
  • At Ukraine’s request, Finland delivered to Ukraine temporary family homes to those who lost their homes in the war and mobile accommodation units for rescue personnel’s use. 

Finland’s development cooperation to improve energy security and climate resilience

Finland’s development cooperation supports modern climate-friendly energy solutions and improves meteorological services and early warning systems for disaster risks. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has led to large-scale destruction of Ukraine’s energy production plants and power grid.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment are preparing measures to support Ukraine’s environmental sector immediately and in the longer term.

Goal: Energy security and climate resilience improve

  • Modern technologies and solutions that are energy efficient and rely on renewable energy are introduced on a larger scale
  • Meteorological services and mechanisms for reducing disaster risks are improved

Ongoing projects and programmes

  • The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) for improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy forms in Ukraine. Finland’s support totals EUR 4.7 million in 2018–2023.
  • The Green Recovery Programme for Ukraine, administered by NEFCO, for rebuilding infrastructure and introducing modern energy-efficient solutions. Finland’s support totals EUR 5 million in 2023–2024.
  • The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Finland’s support totals EUR 4.7 million in 2021–2024.
  • Meteorology cooperation between the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Center. Finland’s support totals EUR 2 million in 2022–2025.

Highlights of the Results Report 2022

As a response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Finland has significantly increased and adapted its support for Ukraine. In 2022, the focus of Finland’s support for Ukraine was on addressing emergency needs and on supporting basic public services, specifically education. Ukraine was granted EU candidate status in June 2022. 

Finland supported the Government of Ukraine to maintain its core functions via the World Bank. One of the outcomes was that 90 per cent of Ukrainian schools remained functioning. The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine continued to implement the New Ukrainian School (NUS) reform. Finland’s support directly contributed to the provision of training for teachers and principals, the raising of awareness of the NUS reform among educational professionals and the wider public and the updating of curricula standards. The number of teachers and textbook developers trained to meet the NUS requirements exceeded the set annual targets. Despite a decrease in the number of vocational education and training (VET) institutions providing dual education in 2022, the number of students remained at the same level, demonstrating the labour market demand for VET skills.  

The Finland–Ukraine Trust Fund, implemented by NEFCO, helped install 14,675 MW of renewable energy generation capacity. In addition, the Fund supported five institutions to increase their capacity to promote new technologies. 

In 2022, Finland started preparations for additional support to respond to Ukraine’s needs in the areas of education, the environment and radiation safety.