USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) was designed to strengthen the economy and improve the resilience of businesses and communities in eastern Ukraine following Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and the seizure of territory in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts by Russia-backed separatists.
Before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ERA had focused interventions on Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. In 2019 after Russia commandeered a Ukrainian naval ship and established a blockade, ERA also added the Sea of Azov region (Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Oblasts) to its area of operations. With the February onset of war in eastern and southern Ukraine, Russia has significantly damaged or destroyed most of ERA’s previous implementation geography.
The further USAID Economic Resilience Activity’s work will be centered on three pillars:
- Stabilization and Inclusion: building the capabilities of vulnerable populations to be able to capitalize on entrepreneurial and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSME) economic opportunities;
- Business Revival: helping MSMEs relocate and rebuild marketing and supply chains;
- New Economy: working with coalitions and leaders to build confidence in the sustainable Ukrainian state, articulate a vision for the future, and put in place the building blocks for a modern, diverse, and MSME‑friendly post-war economy.
Nowadays, ERA shifts its focus from interventions targeting businesses and communities in eastern regions to supporting internally displaced persons (IDPs), MSMEs, universities and other partners from those regions as they move to safer regions of Ukraine and re-establish operations. As a result, ERA’s area of operations has changed from “the east” to supporting IDPs and partners that originated from the east and relocated to other locations “anywhere in Ukraine.” The project is also considering temporary support for those who have fled to the EU outside of Ukraine.
ERA provides technical assistance and co-investment support to micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), financial services providers, local NGOs, educational institutions, local authorities, and consolidated communities. ERA support will enable partners to acquire and test new technologies, rebuild and scale businesses to new markets, build capacity, leverage IT solutions and share information.