01 December 2022

ERA purchased water clean equipment (water filtration stations) for Myrnohrad, the city in Donetsk Oblast. The water filtration stations will be installed in two municipal schools and purify water in existing wells. This will serve as an alternative source of drinking water for the citizens.

It is expected that each of the water filtration stations will produce 10 cubic meters (m3) of water or 10,000 liters of water per day.

Since the beginning of the war, the city experiences a tremendous lack of drinking water – the South Donbas water pipeline that supplied water was damaged. As a result, Myrnohrad, along with other cities in the region, was connected to Karliv water reservoir, an alternative source of water supply. Unfortunately, the water is not suitable for drinking and has been supplied only three days per week. Therefore installation of the station will improve the quality of life for locals and partially solve the problem with drinking water in Myrnohrad.


30 November 2022

A team from Ukraine took first place at Robotex International, one of the world’s largest international robotics festivals held on November 25–26 in Tallinn.  A group of young Ukrainians became the best robotics team in Europe, among more than 30 countries participating in the competition.

The Ukrainian national team Op[ti]mum & Roboclub Vugledar united participants from Vuhledar (Donetsk Oblast) and Kamianka-Dniprovska (Zaporizhzhia Oblast). The children were trained by Hanna Telychko, an IDP entrepreneur from Donetsk Oblast.

At the competition in Tallinn, contestants had to design and program an autonomous robot weighing up to 3 kg, whose task was to find and push the opponent’s robot outside a playing field with a diameter of 154 cm. The Ukrainian team mastered this task quickly, winning an absolute victory among 47 teams to take first place.

“During the war, such victories are very inspiring for Ukrainian schoolchildren who are hiding in bomb shelters and deprived of many basic things such as electricity, heat, Internet, and communication with other teenagers. Therefore, our displaced robotics team will continue to master the technologies of the future in order to participate in the recovery of Ukraine in the nearest future,” said Telychko.

Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Hanna and her husband Serhii developed a network of robotics centers in Donetsk Oblast, which were attended by more than 200 children. All the centers, created with USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) support, were destroyed by Russian shelling.

Telychko told the President of Estonia about her experience. Such competitions are another chance to talk about Ukraine, where children want to learn, develop and create technologies of the future even during wartime, she says.

On November 17–19, children from Ukraine took part in the World Robot Olympiad International Final 2022 in Dortmund, Germany. ERA covered travel costs, participation in the competition and accommodation for children and trainers.

Two robotics teams brought by the Telychko family successfully represented Ukraine among 73 countries. Over three days, the participants programmed robots to perform tasks on a special field. They also communicated with teams from around the world, telling them about the war in Ukraine, the destroyed educational centers, and the resilience of Ukraine and children who, despite the difficulties, continue to study, participate in championships and prepare to build an innovative future.

Telychko is convinced that even during the war children need to develop, so she is looking for different educational opportunities by participating in various grant programs. In the summer, the family held free robotics workshops for more than 1,500 children in the western regions of Ukraine.



29 November 2022

At the request of Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk Oblast Military Administrations, USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) purchased chainsaws, water tanks and fuel canisters, and delivered them to the warehouses of oblast administrations.

“We plan to set up 173 so-called Invincibility Points (centers) in Donetsk Oblast, where water tanks and fuel canisters will be installed. In these centers people will be able to warm up, drink tea and charge their phones during long power outages. Canisters will also be transferred to hospitals for the needs of doctors and to arrange shelters there, so that in case of power cuts people can come and get a place to spend the night and warm up for a few days,” said Oksana Holovko, Director of the Investment Department of Donetsk Oblast State Administration.

In Donetsk Oblast, chainsaws have been handed over to newly liberated communities such as Lyman and Sviatohirsk, where they are currently being used to clear fallen trees. Forestry enterprises received several chainsaws to cut firewood for locals.

In Zaporizhzhia Oblast, chainsaws will be handed over to communities and will be used to cut firewood for local residents, as well as to clear debris in case of shelling.

“Chainsaws are very important for our region, as we are currently gathering firewood for the winter, and municipal services need such tools. In the coming days, we will deliver chainsaws to urban and rural communities near the contact line,” said Artur Boiko, Head of the External Relations Department, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Administration.

In Luhansk Oblast, the equipment will be transferred to de-occupied territories. As of November 23, there are 12 liberated villages in the region.

“People in newly liberated territories lack many basic things, so chainsaws, water tanks, and fuel cans are vital for them. In the future, we will deliver equipment to liberated communities where it will be distributed among local residents or used in such places as police stations, and post and public offices,” said Denys Denyshchenko, Director of the International Technical Assistance Department, Luhansk Oblast Military Administration.

Fuel canisters (20 liters) and 250-liter water tanks will be installed in Invincibility Points, which are being opened in all regions of Ukraine. Water tanks will also be transferred to communities for installation in bomb shelters.

By February 2023, ERA will purchase and transfer generators, lanterns, radios, fire extinguishers, and motor pumps to oblast administrations. The total amount of assistance to the three oblasts is over UAH 27 million.


29 November 2022

On November 29, USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) held the seventh online dialogue platform “Support for Business in Wartime: Relocation and Recovery” in cooperation with the Reform team under the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine. The event was attended by 33 participants: entrepreneurs, representatives of the Ukrainian Bank Association, the banking sector and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.

Representatives of Oschadbank spoke about business support through “Affordable Loans 5–7–9%” state program. In 2022, Oschadbank provided more than UAH 10 billion in loans, with 80% of clients –  representatives of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises – receiving loans under the 5–7–9%  program. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, business has received 15,000 loans, and the demand for concessional lending remains very high. Most entrepreneurs receive loans to replenish working capital.

Representatives of First Ukrainian International Bank and ESKA Capital leasing company updated participants on “Affordable Financial Leasing 5–7–9%” program. Most requests for financing come from agricultural and logistics sectors. Due to problems with logistics (air transport and seaports are not fully operational) many goods are now delivered by truck. The agricultural sector accounts for 30% of leasing requests. Leasing conditions are: advance payment of 40—50%, good business reputation, availability of equipment by the client (already have a fleet; not a startup), and geography – the center and west of Ukraine.

Entrepreneurs received answers to questions about who can apply for loans, whether collateral is required, and which regions are included in the “green zone”.





29 листопада за сприяння Проєкту USAID «Економічна підтримка України»,  Команди підтримки реформ Мінекономіки України, участі Асоціації українських банків, представників державних та недержавних банків

відбувся сьомий інформаційно-діалоговий майданчик «Допомога бізнесу в умовах війни: релокація та відновлення». До заходу долучилися 33 учасники – підприємці, представники банківської сфери, Мінекономіки України.


Представники акціонерного товариства “Ощадбанк” розповіли про підтримку бізнесу через державні програми «Доступні кредити 5-7-9%». У 2022 році Ощадбанк надав кредитів на понад 10 мільярдів гривень. 80% клієнтів – представників мікро-, малого та середнього бізнесу – отримують кредити за програмою 5 – 7 – 9%. Від початку повномасштабного вторгнення бізнес отримав 15 000 кредитів, запит на пільгове кредитування залишається дуже високим. Найбільше підприємці отримують кредити на поповнення обігових коштів.

Представники Першого Українського Міжнародного Банку та лізингової компанії «ЕСКА Капітал» розповіли про можливості програми «Доступний фінансовий лізинг 5-7-9%». Наприклад, найчастіше агросектор та логістична галузь подають запити на таке фінансування. Через те, що логістика перевезення товарів ускладнена (не працюють авіаперевезення та повною мірою морські порти), багато товарів доставляються вантажівками. Також 30% запитів на лізинг складає агросектор. Умови для отримання лізингу – аванс 40-50%, гарна ділова репутація, наявність техніки у клієнта (щоб вже був певний парк, а не стартап), географія – центр та захід України.

Підприємці отримали відповіді на питання про те, хто може подавати заявки на кредитування, чи потрібна застава для цього та які регіони входять до “зеленої зони”.



08 November 2022

Serhii Svyrydenko, a farmer and ATO veteran from Donetsk Oblast, founded a goat farm in 2016 in the village of Ivanopillia, Kostiantynivka community. He produced craft cheese and meat delicacies under the trademark Kozatske Podviria. Svyrydenko received several grants, invested his own money, developed new products, and participated in fairs and festivals organized by USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA). But the full-scale war forced the farmer to seek shelter in a new place.

In April, ERA, together with the Reforms Office team at the Ministry of Economy, began holding dialogue platforms on business relocation to safer regions. Svyrydenko participated in these events, learning about the experience and difficulties of other entrepreneurs, but did not dare leave his home until July.

Sales were falling, some customers left, and when shelling caused power outages, Svyrydenko decided it was finally time to go. Without an electric pump, he would not even be able to provide his goats with water from the well.

Svyrydenko scoured Ukraine for a new location. He wrote posts on social networks about his search for premises, and asked for advice on potential places for his animals and production.

“When I traveled around Ukraine, I saw a lot of half-ruined farms that were not suitable to house animals. They required a lot of investment. Then a farmer from Volyn saw a post about me on social media and wrote, saying he was ready to take me in. I had no other options, so I agreed to come to him with my goats,” says Svyrydenko.

The second challenge was the relocation process itself. The farmer had to transport not only equipment, but 150 Nubian goats. Svyrydenko rented a large vehicle for the move from Donetsk Oblast to Volyn. In addition to his animals, the farmer took a tractor and trailer, cheese dairy equipment, and a refrigerator for meat products.

Now the goats are grazing near the new farm, and adapting to the taste of grass in the village of Didychi, Olytska Community. Grass differs in different regions of Ukraine, affecting animals’ digestion, as farmers know. Svyrydenko needs help to buy winter feed — at home in Donetsk Oblast, his goats ate 30 tons of hay over the winter. After the first snow, they will need to be fed indoors with hay and beets.

Meanwhile, he and his partner Ivan Budem are repairing the farm where the goats will spend the winter. In the neighboring village of Horynivka, Svyrydenko has rented a sausage workshop, where he has already started making his first batch of dried meat and brynza cheese. He has hired a displaced woman from Kostiantynivka, who now lives in the same village, to help in the shop.

“I haven’t lost heart and I am ready to work, although a lot of things were left at home and I need to start again here, in a new place. Now there is grant support – I recently won a grant from the Danish Refugee Council and will receive new modern equipment for the cheese dairy, including a refrigerator and cheese-making machine. With a grant from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs, I will be able to buy a car to transport raw materials and deliver products,” says Svyrydenko.

In Volyn, the farmer is already getting acquainted with the locals, who recently invited him to cook his specialty pilaf over an open fire, as he used to do at fairs and festivals of craft producers.

To become successful again, the entrepreneur is ready to work hard, and to return to his native Donetsk Oblast with new experience after the victory of Ukraine.


03 November 2022

Under the Zap.Ravlik trademark, a family of entrepreneurs from Zaporizhzhia grows snails and produces snail fillets and pâtés. With USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) assistance, they are implementing HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) food safety system.

An ERA consultant explained what measures should be introduced in the production facility, and the entrepreneurs set to work.

First, the consultant explained why it is necessary to follow HACCP rules to the team working in the snail fillet kitchen.

“According to Ukrainian legislation, we must comply with certain requirements at work and introduce this safety system. First of all, it concerns our reputation and our partners’ trust in us and our product,” says Victoria Sorokina, co-founder of Zap.Ravlik. “We are talking not just about medical records for the staff and a change of clothing in the workshop, but more about requirements for equipment, distribution of production areas, movement of personnel in the workshop, and the arrangement of equipment. We have already divided the kitchens: in one we work with fresh fillets, which we bring straight from the snail farm; in the other we make snail pâtés and other delicacies. We also need different sinks, refrigerators, and separate containers for storing and processing products, so that the smells do not mix. This is all very important for making a quality product.”

After fulfilling all the requirements, the entrepreneurs plan to invite a company that will check the standards have been met and then issue a certificate.

“Now we deliver our products to stores and restaurants. We attach a quality certificate to every batch ordered from us. We’ll be able to declare to our partners that we also have a HACCP certificate,” says Sorokina.

The Sorokin family also have the idea to develop a franchise. They received offers to sell snails and snail products even before the war, but the entrepreneurs did not know how to organize it at the time. Now they are learning more about franchising (selling products from other entrepreneurs under the owner’s trademark).

“Before the war, we participated in many festivals and fairs, and traveled everywhere with our tiny branded company. People approached us and asked about cooperation. When the war started we had no time for this, as we had to save our business and survive ourselves. But now that our sales point in Zaporizhzhia is becoming more and more popular, the question of franchising has come up again, and entrepreneurs from different cities of Ukraine are contacting us. We are studying this issue in detail, but we need money to prepare the initial agreement for further distribution of the franchise,” says Sorokina.

The family believes that they will implement everything they plan, and after the victory of Ukraine, they will visit festivals again to offer their delicious snail products.