Ukraine’s capacity for sustainable, broad-based growth is stalled by:
- unpredictable and incomplete agricultural policies,
- limited financial services for agriculture, and
- a weak market infrastructure that leads to low yields and reduces the competitiveness of small and medium producers.
Ukraine’s economy is one of the least energy efficient and most emission-intensive in the world. As a result, the country is a major contributor to global climate change. In order to produce a unit of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Ukraine emits more anthropogenic greenhouse gases than almost any other country. Ukraine’s high GHG emissions are related to its energy intensity, which is over three times higher than the European Union (EU) average (International Energy Agency (IEA), 2012). Ukraine’s inefficient energy use impedes economic growth, leaves the economy highly vulnerable to price shifts, draws governmental and private sector resources away from other priority issues, and creates dependence upon foreign energy suppliers.
Public opinion polling indicates that Ukrainian citizens lack confidence in the justice system. Widespread corruption in the Rule of Law sector has constrained progress in democratic institution-building, integration into European institutions and economic reform. Judicial reform remains highly politicized. The judicial reform will not enjoy public trust until these institutions are demonstrably independent, impartial and accountable. Legislative reform is advancing, but many key challenges remain, including:
- Lack of transparency, effectiveness and efficiency in court operations;
- Lack of leadership in promoting judicial independence;
- Limited training opportunities for judges and court stuff;
- Low level of public trust and confidence in the judicial system.
Effective governance is critical to ensuring the delivery of basic government services and the fair, transparent and inclusive representation of citizen’s interests. Legislative action is needed to balance relations between institutions of governance and strengthen the political system. To further consolidate democratic advances, Ukraine needs a pluralistic and open party system accountable to citizens, a stable electoral system that allows for fair and competitive elections and an improved legislative process that includes civil society participation
The growth of local government remains stifled by the limited resources that municipalities have at their disposal to build and operate basic services and infrastructure. Local governments need to attract domestic and foreign capital investment and to learn to manage their budgets effectively, while becoming more transparent and accountable to their citizens.
As a post-Soviet country that has witnessed dramatic economic decline, Ukraine faces several unique challenges. Almost 30 percent of Ukraine's population lives below the poverty line. Limited economic opportunities compel men and women to look for work abroad, which places them at high risk of exploitation.
Citizens and civil society organizations are increasingly active in engaging government policy makers, but they often lack the advocacy skills and influence to advance the country’s reform agenda. NGOs need long-term solutions for their institutional sustainability, as they still rely heavily on international donor funds due to underdeveloped domestic donor support.
The Government of Ukraine (GOU) and the Ukrainian public acknowledge that high levels of corruption have become a serious impediment to the country’s economic, political, and social development.
The U.S. commitment to ending FGM/C is rooted in efforts to protect and advance the rights of women and girls globally. The U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally, launched in August 2012, specifically recognizes FGM/C as a harmful practice. The United States also supports efforts to end FGM/C in humanitarian settings and among refugees with a range of programming. The United States recently strengthened the reporting on this issue in its Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which now include information on whether FGM/C is prevalent, the type and category of genital cutting most common, as well as international and governmental efforts being taken to address the practice.
The United States is taking a whole-of-government approach to address the issue of Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM). Our commitments demonstrate the concerted implementation of the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence Globally and the USAID Vision for Action to End Child Marriage and Meet the Needs of Married Children. CEFM projects are integrated into sector specific programs such as health or education to further enhance impact.
Last updated: March 30, 2015