2020 Social Forum of the UN Human Rights Council
Intervention by the Delegation of Ukraine
(9 October 2020)
Over the last year, the Government of Ukraine has laid a solid groundwork for implementing much needed reforms in economic and social spheres aimed primarily at poverty eradication and protection of the most vulnerable strata of the population.
In the course of 2020 alone, efforts in the social policy have resulted in a number of tangible achievements. In July, the minimum subsistence level in Ukraine has increased by 4.5 % and is expected to go up another 3.4% in December. This paved the way to gradual and consistent expansion of state social guarantees, among which are the increases in pension provision and housing subsidies.
The Government also continues taking consistent measures related to simplification of social assistance procedures and strengthening of social protection for the persons with disabilities, children, the elderly and other marginalized groups. Their financial and social safety is also reinforced through a number of newly introduced governmental programs designed particularly with this goal.
Further progress has been substantially impeded by the difficult challenges related to COVID-19 pandemic. In face of this crisis a number of legislative acts have been enacted to prohibit suspension of social assistance subsidies, extend the term of paid leave, promote the possibility of remote work, provide support and subsidies for those fired because of the pandemic, soften tax burden on the self-employed, suspend mortgage payments and penalties for late payment for utility services and others.
In addition, the Government of Ukraine has introduced an online information platform "Help Alongside" to provide targeted assistance to vulnerable groups during the pandemic and to create conditions for attracting charitable organizations, NGOs, businesses and volunteers with this purpose.
Existing challenges in Ukraine's social policy are severely exacerbated by armed aggression and temporary occupation of its territories by the Russian Federation, which over the last more than six years have led to hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage, a loss of one-fifth of economic potential and around 1.4 million of internally displaced persons.
Nevertheless, Ukraine continues to demonstrate tangible improvements in addressing the needs of its most vulnerable citizens and remains committed to further progress in combating poverty and inequality.
I thank you.