On February 6, 2023, Oksana Zholnovych, Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, took part in the 61st session of the United Nations Commission for Social Development. The main topic of this year's session is the creation of more productive and decent work for all and the development of social services.
During the meeting with the UN representatives, the Minister emphasized that all the funding provided by the organization would become the basis for stabilizing the situation in the social sphere. After the war is over, this will allow the state to solve all important issues independently and move from crisis management to sustainable development.
"Today, Ukrainian social policy is facing extraordinary challenges due to the full-scale russian aggression. First of all, we are talking about 14 million Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes and move to other cities either in the country or abroad. Continuous russian attacks are destroying our energy sector and businesses, preventing the economy from fully recovering and people from earning a living. At the same time, the Government of Ukraine continues to work on increasing the resilience and further development of the social sphere," said the Minister of Social Policy.
She also noted that all guaranteed pensions, benefits to low-income families, multi-children families, people with disabilities and children were being paid. Employers are provided with financial support to save jobs and encourage the employment of internally displaced workers.
To ensure effective management of social services during active hostilities, their digitalization continues. This includes the creation of reliable tools for collecting and distributing funds as well as technical support from international partners and concerned individuals.
A humanitarian account has also been launched, with funds accounted for separately and used to help vulnerable populations in need of special attention during the war.
The main efforts of the Ministry of Social Policy are currently focused on providing psychosocial assistance, developing family-based care for orphans and children deprived of parental care, and changing the procedures for rehabilitation and prosthetics (orthotics). The latter is very relevant, as the number of children and adults with disabilities due to exposure to explosive ordnance is increasing in Ukraine.
"On the one hand, we are taking immediate measures to evacuate people from dangerous areas, provide them with the necessary assistance, temporary housing and care. At the same time, we are modernizing the rehabilitation system and expanding the opportunities for traumatized people to return to active economic and social life," summarized the Minister of Social Policy.
According to the Minister, sustainable, flexible and effective social support is one of the factors that will be taken into account before the return of Ukrainian citizens who were forced by the war to go abroad or who suffered from the invasion.
The agenda of the Minister of Social Policy's visit to the United States includes her participation in the Ministerial Forum, high-level discussions on the Fourth Review and Appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, meetings with representatives of other states, authorities and institutions to enhance cooperation and support the implementation of reforms in the social sphere.