“Coordination is the way to offer systemic support for war-affected”: member of the Parliament Yaroslav Yurchyshyn

As part of the Dialogue “Coordination: A Path to Systemic Support for the War-Affected Ukrainian Population,” Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, Member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, shared his views on humanitarian support and the role of the state and civil society in the reforming process.

How to avoid manipulations in the provision of humanitarian support

Mr. Yurchyshyn noted that the provision of humanitarian support resonates in society due to the complexity of this process, which involves the authorities, society, and other stakeholders. Yaroslav Yurchyshyn also noted that several factors, including the number of intermediaries and the honesty of the state to its citizens, influence the effectiveness of humanitarian aid:

“Several factors affect the provision of humanitarian aid. The first is the number of intermediaries. The farther the aid provider is from the recipient, the more likely there will be problems along the way. The second factor is honesty because several things in the Constitution can be interpreted controversially — for example, the provision of free medical care. It cannot be like that because either the state or the consumer pays for it. Such promises are sometimes used for manipulative purposes”.

Changes in the state begin with the initiative of its citizens. 

Yaroslav Yurchyshyn emphasized the importance of coordination in the provision of humanitarian aid. It should be initiated and implemented by different stakeholders. At the same time, the role of the community is essential, as it can unite for a common goal and move the reform processes forward.

“If the volunteer movement had not organized and started acting in February 2022, the situation could have been catastrophic. If, in 2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, no one had requested reforms in certain areas, there would have been no positive changes. I share the following opinion: changes are initiated by those who care. It is always difficult to stir up the state because it is focused on statistics. If business, international partners, and civil society organizations unite and show unity, the government will not be able to avoid coming to this coordination council,” said Mr. Yaroslav.

Actions that will encourage the development of the state

The speaker added that a faster transition to a modernized Western system of governance would allow for more effective implementation of changes. In this case, the transparency of the authorities’ work will be a factor in the development of the state. As well as providing information about it to communities. 

“We need to switch to the Western system — the state intervenes only where it cannot help but intervene. Reconstruction is generally based on rethinking the management process. This means maximum openness, transparency, and accountability at the state level. In general, it is necessary to find a mechanism under which, during the war, we will provide communities and citizens with the maximum amount of information because it is the accessibility to information that can build expectations more realistically and make the entire state process more transparent”.

Mr. Yaroslav also underlined that even though the war provokes us to make decisions here and now, Ukrainians must think far ahead and plan for years. It is essential to consider different scenarios. 

“The state always ‘thinks’ in terms of processes, but changes require either revolutions or evolution. War always encourages revolutionary thinking. However, the more gradually we implement changes, the fewer citizens will resist them, even if they are rational.” 

The “Relief for Ukraine: Support Ecosystem for Ukrainians” Program is implemented by Aspen Institute Kyiv, initiated by CORE Response, and supported by the American Red Cross.