On 7 September 2023 in Chernihiv, the Ambassador of Latvia to Ukraine, Ilgvars Kļava, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Deputy Resident Representative the United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine, Christophoros Politis, signed an agreement on the reconstruction of infrastructure facilities in the Chernihiv Oblast. The reconstruction project will be carried out by the UNDP in Ukraine. The total amount of the funds contributed under the agreement is 2 million euros.
The agreement provides for the overhaul, restoration or reconstruction of five social infrastructure facilities: the food block of the Chernihiv Regional Children’s Hospital; the pre-school No 19 of the Chernihiv City; the facade of the Kiyin pre-school “Malyatko”; Staryi Bilous Lyceum of the Novyi Bilous Village Council; and insulation of the facade of Talalaivka Lyceum in the Talalaivka Village Council.
Ambassador Ilgvars Kļava emphasized that Latvia would continue to support Ukraine until victory: “Our contribution is a testimony of our unwavering commitment to support the Ukrainian people and aid in the reconstruction of vital infrastructure. Through the combined efforts of UNDP, the Republic of Latvia, and local authorities, the project promises to play a pivotal role in the region's recovery and revitalization, providing stability through solidarity with the communities of Chernihiv.“
The buildings to be restored were determined by the Chernihiv Oblast Administration, following the assessment of the region’s urgent needs. The reconstruction works will be carried out in accordance with EU standards, which is particularly important in view of Ukraine’s European integration process.
As part of his regional visit, Ambassador Ilgvars Kļava also saw the Women’s Support Centre in Chernihiv, the establishment of which was supported by Latvia, and he met with the Governor of the Chernihiv Oblast, Viacheslav Chaus.
The Chernihiv Oblast borders Russia and Belarus and was subject to Russian attacks from the very first days of the full-scale war in late February 2022. The Ukrainian forces liberated the region from the invaders in early April last year. Because of the Russian aggression, some 150,000 residents of the region were forced to flee their homes; around 9,200 residential buildings and infrastructure facilities were destroyed, including hospitals and educational institutions.
In September 2022, the Government of Latvia designated Chernihiv as a priority region for Latvia in its reconstruction efforts.
The contract with the United Nations Development Programme is signed on the basis of decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers of 1 June 2023 regarding the involvement of Latvia in the reconstruction of Chernihiv. The contractual amount is part of Latvia’s overall assistance to the recovery of Chernihiv Oblast, for which EUR 5.1 million has been allocated in the State budget in 2023.
The United Nations Development Programme is the leading UN agency in the matters of reconstruction and recovery.