The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognises that migration is a powerful driver of sustainable development for migrants and their communities. According to its Strategic Vision, IOM strives to optimise the benefits of labour migration for both the countries of origin and destination as well as for the migrants themselves.

Experts estimate that there are approximately 3 million Ukrainian migrant workers abroad at any given time, the majority in Europe, with Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic, and, since recently, Baltic states being the main destination countries among the EU Member States. Migrants are the most prominent investors in Ukraine’s economy: estimated remittances inflows in 2020 exceeded USD 15.2 bln (WorldBank). The Ukrainian diaspora, estimated between 5.9 to 20 million people present in more than 100 countries  worldwide, has significant financial and social capital that could be used to advance sustainable development in Ukraine. Beyond financial resources, Ukrainian diaspora and migrants could contribute through skills and knowledge transfer, developing a variety of sectors, such as health, education, and others. At the same time, the number of migrant workers in Ukraine is gradually increasing, and if well-managed, the foreign workers can fill critical roles in the country, satisfying labour shortages and driving innovation.

In Ukraine, IOM supports the Government in harnessing the development potential of migration, particularly by:

  • promoting migrant entrepreneurship and boosting employment opportunities;
  • fostering diaspora engagement as development actors and remittances investment;
  • and offering evidence-based policy advice to enhance labour migration management.
Enterprise Development

SME Boost: Economic Integration of Internally Displaced People and Business Recovery

Aiming to contribute to economic adaptation and recovery of micro- and small enterprises affected by multiple crises in Ukraine by strengthening their capacity to operate and provide critically needed goods and services for IDPs and host communities, the project supports displaced businesses and enterprises operating in worst-hit areas with grants, consultancy services and trainings geared towards restarting and sustaining business activity, mitigating the economic impact of the war, retaining existing jobs and creating new work opportunities.

The project additionally engages diaspora to support the enterprises through skills development, business support, access to finance, networks and markets.

The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW Development Bank and runs from November 2021 until May 2024, with the aim of helping over 700 MSMEs.

project coverage map 

Rapid Assessment of the Impact of War in Ukraine on Micro- and Small Enterprises 


Diaspora Engagement

Diaspora, or transnational communities, connect countries and communities across the world. They share a sense of belonging to more than one community and, through their human, social, financial, and cultural capital, make an immense contribution to the development of both the countries they live in and come from.

IOM Ukraine aims to collaborate closely with diaspora communities and state stakeholders to build trust and create a conducive environment for cooperation. 

In the first months of the war, numerous members of the diaspora have rapidly mobilized to support virtually every part of Ukrainian society, from delivering emergency assistance to sponsoring refugees, providing technical expertise for recovery, and funding the war effort.  IOM Ukraine places an emphasis on leveraging skills and resources of the Ukrainians abroad, and looking to engage diaspora individuals and organizations into its immediate and longer-term interventions.  To register: Ukraine | iDiaspora

Diaspora Infosheet (2022)

Labour Migration Research and Publications

The availability of accurate, comparable, and timely migration-related data is crucial to developing evidence-based policy, legislative initiatives, and operational responses corresponding to national needs and priorities. In the aftermath of the pandemic, data will become even more important to understand changing mobility trends, assess the impact of the pandemic, and further harness migration potential to contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development. IOM Ukraine strives to promote evidence-based programming and policy-making in Ukraine, working with academia and state stakeholders, and conducts regular surveys related to migration and development that produce recommendations for policymakers, civil society, diaspora groups, migrant associations, and other stakeholders.

1+1 Initiative

In 2019, IOM Ukraine started implementation of the 1+1 initiative supporting communities prone to economically induced outward migration, migrant workers and their families with co-funding for creation and development of businesses. For each dollar of own funds invested in developing their business in Ukraine, participants receive another dollar as a non-refundable grant for the purchase of equipment. In general, the programme provides equipment worth up to USD 4,000. Same principle is applied to support communities prone to economically induced outward migration, expand economic opportunities, improve social services, and induce jobs creation. IOM is currently co-funding 12 community development projects with the amount up to USD 20,000 on the similar 1+1 principle. Implementation of this pilot initiative in Ukraine is funded by USAID.

Following two cycles of call for proposals in 2019 and 2021, IOM received over 300 application from the labour migrants. Applications came from all the regions of Ukraine and cover a wide variety of spheres: industry, agriculture, construction, services and education. Pre-selected participants received professional consultations for writing a business plan, which they submitted for competition. After successful defense sessions, beneficiaries started receiving the requested equipment.