The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Works begin under EU-funded project to repair schools in Ukraine

UNOPS is working to help more than 14,000 students return to school.

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  • This article was originally published on 05 July 2023.

Project updates:

23 November 2023

  • The EU and UNOPS have successfully completed repairs on the first eight schools in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv. Repairs to Pisky School in Chernihiv have helped return 87 children to school, supported by 16 teachers. Works on the remaining schools will continue into 2024, all in parallel with a focused effort to provide shelter facilities for all these schools. 
  • “The EU's commitment to providing Ukrainian children with education stays strong. By supporting projects that fix war-damaged schools, we're not just renovating buildings but investing in a future where children can learn and grow in conducive environments. It's a testament to the EU's dedication to children's better and promising days ahead,” said Claudia Amaral, Head of the EU humanitarian office in Ukraine.

Read more here.

31 July 2023

  • The EU and UNOPS agreed to extend the project. In addition to the schools to be completed in 2023, a new batch of schools, mostly located in the Kyiv Oblast, will be repaired by June 2024, taking the total number of repaired buildings to over 70.
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As part of an EU-funded project to repair schools across Ukraine, construction work has commenced in Lozova, Kharkiv. Our team in Ukraine visited several schools in the city to see how the project is helping them prepare to welcome students for the new academic year in September.

As part of the EU-funded school repairs project in Ukraine, implemented by UNOPS, construction work commenced in late June on the first batch of educational institutions. This will help prepare them to welcome students at the beginning of the new academic year in September 2023.

This is the first stage of the project aimed at providing safe and accessible learning environments to more than 14,000 students.

“Due to Russia's war, countless schools in Ukraine lie in ruins or are heavily damaged, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. Rehabilitating these schools is crucial for providing the youngest of Ukrainians a safe environment to learn and grow,” said Claudia Amaral, Head of EU Humanitarian Aid in Ukraine.

“We aim to restore a sense of normalcy and stability for children who have been affected by this war. The EU is committed to stand alongside Ukraine to rebuild schools, dreams and the future of its children,” she added.

Following detailed assessments by specialists, eight schools across three oblasts – Kyiv, Kharkiv and Chernihiv – will have windows and doors replaced. These sites sustained relatively limited damage, often caused by blast waves coming from missile strikes nearby. The work is focused on ensuring the buildings are safe and comfortable for the returning students.

Words of gratitude go out to our international partners, including the school repairs in Ukraine project, implemented by UNOPS, for their significant support.

Oleksandra Azarkhina - Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine
This gymnasium in downtown Mykolaiv is considered for restoration. Apart from being a key educational facility, it is also a building of great cultural value - one of the oldest surviving public structures in the city.
Crisis response in Ukraine

Read more on how we’re supporting vulnerable communities affected by the conflict in Ukraine – and helping to lay the foundations for a sustainable future.

“The project is tackling the renovation of educational facilities that sustained local damage, providing them with much needed equipment, and improving their shelters to meet safety requirements,” added Oleksandra Azarkhina.

The rehabilitation works at the first eight schools will be followed by more extensive works at 28 sites. These will include light repairs of roofs and walls, heating systems repairs where needed and some shelter repairs to enhance safety

“Education is what every country’s future depends on,” remarked Tim Lardner, UNOPS Country Director in Ukraine.

“As Ukraine faces the challenges that lie ahead, it will need the talents of its young generations to secure a sustainable pathway to prosperity. By helping schools reopen, we are making our modest contribution to the country's success,” he added.

Local authorities and school administrations are hopeful that the efforts will allow students to return to classrooms.

“Children miss being able to socialize with their peers,” said Viktoriia Shalimova, Principal at Lyceum no. 4 in Lozova, one of the eight schools in the first batch.

“They will sometimes visit the school, although they don’t have classes here. I keep hearing how much they miss it,” she added.

Despite the ongoing conflict and the recurrent threat of airstrikes, the Ukrainian government has adopted a plan to return a significant number of schools to offline learning starting this September. According to recently adopted requirements, all educational facilities must have shelters with sufficient space in order to be able to operate.

“Safe educational environments are one of the government’s top priorities,” said Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.

“We have already launched the recovery and reconstruction of damaged schools, as well as the construction of new ones. Central to these efforts is the Fund for the Elimination of the Consequences of Armed Aggression: 65 secondary schools have received funding from it,” she added.

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