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Social Policy in Ukraine in the Wartime: 2022-2023 years

by Oleksandra Betliy, Вероніка Мовчан

Policy paper

In this policy paper, Ukrainian researchers Oleksandra Betliy and Veronika Movchan from the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (Kyiv) summarise the catastrophic consequences faced by Ukrainians during the full-scale war, analyse the success of the Government's measures to mitigate them and the effectiveness of international partners' assistance, as well as the compatibility of social policy with Ukraine's European integration aspirations.

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Executive summary
The year 2022 brought immense challenges to Ukraine due to the full-scale russia’s invasion, causing loss of lives, economic decline, and widespread damage. The Government focused on critical social spending, financed by international partners, to address the crisis and combat rising poverty. Despite some stabilisation, the impact of the war persisted, leading to inflation, reduced economic activity, and significant unemployment.
Despite budget constraints, Ukraine continued financing social programs and stimulating employment to maintain its safety net and economic resilience. The Government emphasised digitalisation during wartime to ensure better access for Ukrainians to social assistance. Efforts were made to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) through simplified registration, financing for IDP assistance, and provision of shelters where possible.
Existing social welfare programs were maintained, but coverage decreased due to migration and budget constraints. E-governance solutions were introduced to coordinate charity and support various initiatives. Unemployment benefits were reduced, likely to stimulate job search.
Ukraine’s social policy will continue balancing fiscal constraints with supporting war-affected populations, emphasising existing safety net programs and means-tested assistance. External migration offered short-term benefits but posed
long-term challenges, requiring guidelines for encouraging return migration.
International support, including financial, military, and humanitarian aid, is crucial for Ukraine to win the war and overcome the war’s effects, implement reforms, and prepare for EU membership.

Written by Oleksandra Betliy, Leading Research Fellow, Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting
Edited by Veronika Movchan, Research Director, Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting

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