Reconstruction and first results of eRecovery: USAID delegation led by Samantha Power visits Bucha

During USAID Administrator Samantha Power’s visit to Bucha, Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister for Innovation, Education, Science and Technology Development and Minister of Digital Transformation, Oleksandra Azarkhina, Deputy Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development, and Anatolii Fedoruk, Mayor of Bucha, briefed the delegation on the process of compensation for damaged property and the results of the eRecovery program.

“In the history of our digital state, eRecovery is one of the most difficult services to implement and one of the easiest for the user. It is very important that the reconstruction process is as transparent and accessible to Ukrainians as possible. The eRecovery service is not just about submitting an application to Diia. This is data from a registry that records information and cannot be changed. It is verification of data in other registers. This is the work of the local commission and other tools, such as anti-fraud, which assess how effectively the funds received by citizens are used. There were no similar projects in the world. Over the entire period of eRecovery operation, Ukrainians have already submitted more than 27 thousand applications. More than 1,400 of them have already received financial assistance to rebuild their homes” – said Mykhailo Fedorov. 

The work on the digitalization of the reconstruction process started at the beginning of the full-scale war. In March 2022, the service was launched in Diia – Reporting Damaged Property. Since then, Ukrainians have submitted more than 468 thousand reports.

All the information received became the foundation for the launch of the Register of Damaged and Destroyed Property. This register was developed through a collaboration between the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development and the Ministry of Digital Transformation, with the support of the USAID / UK Aid Transparency and Accountability in Public Administration and Services/ TAPAS Activity.

The register has become the foundation for transparent and effective reconstruction. On the one hand, it stores information about residential buildings and other structures that were damaged by the full-scale invasion. On the other hand, the state can use the data to understand the extent of the damage and rationally plan the reconstruction process.

“The eRecovery program is already giving Ukrainians the opportunity to prepare their homes for the cold weather. This is crucial for Ukrainians who are still considering whether to return home. The assistance approved by local governments has already reached over UAH 188 million for more than 2,300 applicants.  In our turn, we are doing everything possible to help communities to make the commissions work more efficiently and quickly. This includes consulting support and assistance with personnel where it is needed. Our common goal is to return Ukrainians to their comfortable homes,” – said Oleksandr Kubrakov, Vice Prime Minister for Restoration and Minister for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development of Ukraine.

One of the components of the reconstruction is the eRecovery program, which is carried out entirely in digital format.

At the first stage of the program, Ukrainians can apply to Diia and receive financial assistance to repair damaged housing. Since then, more than 27,000 Ukrainians have applied, and 1,400 have already received funds totaling more than UAH 114 million.

Also this week, it was announced an update to the eRecovery service: soon Ukrainians whose homes were destroyed by russian aggression will be able to receive compensation.

USAID Administrator Samantha Power said: “I have been to many war zones, countries recovering from war damage. There is a great risk with resources that are needed for reconstruction and recovery. That people who need those resources the most, won’t get access to them. What is happening in Ukraine through the eRecovery platform is something that I’ve never seen before. Technology allows people immediately to receive the help they need”

The delegation visited one of the damaged houses in Bucha, whose owners have already received funding for the repair of damaged housing under the eRestoration program. The funds will be used to repair the house so that the residents of Bucha can return home. 

The USAID Hoverla project is also involved in the reconstruction process, actively working to establish commissions responsible for inspecting properties damaged due to the war and addressing compensation matters. As of now, a total of 516 commissions have been successfully set up in various communities. Notably, the Hoverla project takes an active role in organizing training sessions for these commissions, specifically focusing on equipping them with the necessary skills to effectively work with the Register of Damaged and Destroyed Property.

During the visit, the delegation also visited the Diia.Business center, which also suffered from the Russian occupation. However, it was quickly restored and the center is already providing consultations and other services to support Ukrainian entrepreneurs.