DAI Supports All IN for Ukraine Partner Event at the 2024 Indiana Global Economic Summit

May 29, 2024

DAI recently partnered with the 2024 Indiana Global Economic Summit, the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States, and the Ukrainian community in Indianapolis to host a discussion panel, “All IN for Ukraine.” The event featured presentations and a question-and-answer session about the current humanitarian and economic situation in Ukraine. It also highlighted the experiences of U.S. cities forming partnerships with their Ukrainian counterparts and the role of donor-funded projects that DAI implements across Ukraine.

In her opening remarks, Oksana Markarova, the Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States, stressed the potential for significant reconstruction and growth in Ukraine once the war ends. “We can partner in this and do it together,” she said. She also expressed appreciation for the growing transborder partnerships initiative supported by DAI. “Having those town-to-town, city-to-city connections is very important—to work together, discuss issues, and transfer knowledge, even beyond financial assistance,” she said.

1-e52203.jpgFrom left, Lesya Houston, Steve Patterson, Svitlana Ramer, Oksana Markarova, and Grant Osborn, Senior Associate Director for the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Steve Patterson, the Mayor of Athens, Ohio, shared his experiences of visiting Ostroh, Ukraine, to establish a formal connection between the two municipalities as partner communities. He was the first U.S. mayor to visit a partner community in Ukraine under the Governance and Local Accountability (USAID HOVERLA) Activity, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), after the full-scale invasion began. Patterson highlighted the benefits of such transborder collaborations, including knowledge transfer through academic and cultural exchanges, economic cooperation through trade, investment, entrepreneurship, and partnerships for future recovery efforts. Over the past year, DAI has been working to expand the network of partner municipalities, formalizing seven transborder partnerships so far as part of the USAID HOVERLA Activity.

Svitlana Ramer, DAI’s Senior Communications Manager for Ukraine Projects, discussed how other DAI projects in Ukraine have adapted to respond to the invasion. For example, the USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) has become a key partner in implementing the Agriculture Resilience Initiative–Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine) and in partnering with the government to improve border infrastructure and customs procedures.

2-0f4f6f.jpgFrom left, Houston, Ramer, Patterson, Markarova, and Osborn.

The discussion concluded with a presentation by Lesya Houston, Vice President of the Ukrainian Society of Indiana. She highlighted the connections between Ukraine and Indiana being built by the local community, which are strengthened through cultural immersions, volunteer initiatives, festivals, and themed events.

“The DAI-sponsored event created a platform to discuss timely and relevant issues, facilitated the establishment of more contacts between stakeholders, addressed crucial issues for U.S.-Ukraine cooperation, and raised the profile of technical assistance programs that support Ukraine’s resilience during these challenging times,” said Mark McCord, the head of DAI’s Ukraine Management Unit.

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