Ukraine’s Social Policy Response to Covid-19: A Quick but Fragmented Approach

This report reviews Ukraine’s social policy response to the Covid-19 pandemic between March and September 2020. In mid-March the government decided on a lockdown, which lasted until the end of May. Simultaneously, the government and parliament approved mitigating measures to support vulnerable groups, which were expected to suffer due to the resulting economic downturn. The decisions were largely fragmented and primarily directed to supporting business and the labour market. Education institutions went into a remote working regime in mid-March, which resulted in inequality of access to education due to the digital divide. Health personnel received top-ups to their wages, but only if they have been working in the secondary level of the healthcare system. Most mitigation measures were financed from the budgetary Fund for Combatting Covid-19, which was actually largely directed towards financing road construction. In summer, the quarantine measures were loosened, and adaptive quarantine was introduced. The supporting measures mostly evaporated as the government faced budget constraints and the economy was recovering more quickly than initially expected.