The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Ambassador Vadym Omelchenko, the Permanent Delegate of Ukraine to UNESCO.
UNESCO projects that will be implemented in 2024 thanks to these funds include:
Culture: Emergency heritage preservation operations will be carried out in several cities, including Lviv and Kharkiv, while assisting the creation of a Recovery Support Unit by the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture. In Odesa, home to a World Heritage site that is regularly threatened by attacks, UNESCO will support the development of an emergency preparedness and risk mitigation plan. The Organization will also reinforce the monitoring and assessment of damage to cultural heritage, as well as the training of Ukrainian authorities and cultural professionals in damage data collection, an essential step towards prioritizing reconstruction work.
Education: UNESCO will train 20,000 additional education actors – including psychologists, teachers, parents, caregivers, security officers, and librarians – to provide mental health and psychosocial support services for all Ukrainian learners, a key factor in ensuring the recovery of future generations. Ukrainian schools and Inclusive Resource Centers, that work with children with disabilities, will also be supported to better accommodate children and youth in a safe and inclusive environment.
Safety of journalists and media development: UNESCO will focus on the protection, psychological support and upskilling of journalists. The Organization will continue to provide emergency financial and material aid to journalists and newsrooms, helping media workers to deliver independent, professional, ethical and with due regard for the risks of war. Additionally, UNESCO will launch a media and information literacy programme to help citizens be better equipped in the face of disinformation and hate speech.
Numerous actions completed in 2023
In 2023, Japan had already provided $10M to UNESCO to support Ukraine in drawing up emergency plans to safeguard its heritage, support its education system and strengthen access to information through the media.
These initial fundsenabled the training of over 200 cultural professionals in emergency measures and damage assessment, while managers of sites have received “heritage first-aid kits” to limit damage pending restoration. Over 7,000 school psychologists have also been trained in psychosocial support for Ukrainian schoolchildren, following the creation of a curriculum specifically designed to help educational staff support the well-being of students. UNESCO also trained 230 journalists in safety measures to strengthen their security on the ground, and provided financial grants to 200 journalists, at a time when the war has impacted their sources of income.
More than $66 million have been mobilized to date by UNESCO as part of its mandate in Ukraine.