Press Release

Sumy Regional Authorities convene partners to drive recovery from invasion and occupation

28 July 2023

The UN in Ukraine supported the Sumy Regional Administration to convene a forum of local authorities, civil society organizations, international development partners, academia and private sector actors, joined by representatives of the national government.

Caption: Sumy Recovery Coordination Forum
28 July 2023, Sumy, Ukraine

Photo: © Sumy Regional Administration

The discussions were aimed at establishing a regional recovery coordination mechanism to drive implementation of the Sumy Regional Economic Recovery and Development Strategy and strengthen the connections between the humanitarian response, recovery interventions, development planning, and private sector investments ongoing in the region.

“Today, we are demonstrating to international partners the potential and capabilities of the region, our desire and determination to recover and develop, and we are offering concrete steps and projects along the way. At the forum, we are laying a solid platform for further cooperation with our foreign friends and the future basis for Sumy region development. We have all the resources for this: our desire and perseverance, and the great interest of donors. I am sincerely grateful to all our foreign friends who, despite the war, found the opportunity to come and join the forum, and to our strategic partners from the UN who helped organize this event and bring together in a constructive dialogue all those who are committed to development and recovery of Sumy region”, said Volodymyr Artiukh, the Head of Sumy Regional State Administration.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, noted the importance of regional and local leadership: “What immediately captured my attention on my first visit last winter to Sumy were your efforts to design and launch a regional recovery and economic development strategy already at that time to shift from humanitarian to recovery. And not only did you design a strategy in the very difficult context you were still dealing with at the end of last year, but you did so in an inclusive and participatory way where you involved the cities, the hromadas, civil society, academia and the private sector. This really exemplifies the collaboration necessary for an inclusive and successful recovery.”

Caption: Sumy Recovery Coordination Forum
28 July 2023, Sumy, Ukraine

Photo: © Sumy Regional Administration

As a result of the discussions, the Regional State Administration will establish an inclusive Regional Recovery Coordination Forum to implement Sumy’s strategy, with the support of the United Nations. All stakeholders agreed that the Forum's primary objectives should include promoting inclusive and sustainable development, local ownership and participation, and serving as a pilot for other regions. The Regional State Administration, the United Nations and all stakeholders made a commitment to support inclusive coordination and align longer-term support with initiatives at the national level, including development of the State Strategy for Regional Development and future EU integration planning.

Sumy region also intends to share its experiences with recovery strategy development and coordination for recovery with other regions in Ukraine. The UN in Ukraine is a dedicated partner for this goal for the long term.

Background information:

Like other frontline regions of Ukraine, Sumy has been severely affected by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition to the worst losses of human life and health, many people have lost their homes, jobs and livelihoods; critical infrastructure, education and healthcare facilities have been damaged. Despite the war, local communities have demonstrated remarkable resilience and, with the support of development partners, have developed and implemented recovery actions. The Sumy Region Economic Recovery and Development Strategy is an example of this effort. The UN in Ukraine has been supporting local authorities and communities in Sumy region in this process, by aligning its efforts with stakeholders to ensure the recovery interventions are tailored to community needs.

To date in the Sumy region, the UN has assisted more than 350,000 people since the invasion started. This includes the two humanitarian convoys sent into Sumy city when it was encircled and besieged by Russian forces in March 2022, as well as humanitarian assistance across the region after its liberation. This support has encompassed housing repairs, emergency shelter kits, heating supplies, infrastructure improvements, and essential psychosocial and child protection services. The UN also helped establish social adaptation spaces in Sumy city, Bilopillia, Chernechchyna, and Konotop, providing assistance to persons with disabilities, older people, and others in need.

At the community level, the UN has supported Sumy city and Bilopillya, aiding in monitoring local development strategies and implementing relevant recovery plans. Furthermore, the European Union-funded "Mayors for Economic Growth" project has seen seven municipalities from the region (Sumy, Bilopillia, Trostianets, Konotop, Krasnopilla, Hlukhiv and Oktyrka) join the network, with two partner municipalities actively participating in the "Urban Imaginaries" project, promoting new methods of social listening, and piloting their urban transformation initiatives with financial support from the project.

When it comes to the private sector, the UN has actively engaged with the Sumy Chamber of Commerce and Industry, bolstering organizational capacity, improving business development services, and encouraging effective public-private dialogue. The UN in Ukraine also works to strengthen entrepreneurship and business skills among local entrepreneurs in Sumy region by supporting training sessions, with the most recent held in Romny for 25 local participants.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Resident Coordinator Office

Goals we are supporting through this initiative