War in Ukraine: the colossal cost of rebuilding the country

Reconstruction and support of Ukraine’s economy would cost nearly $350 billion if the country’s conflict with Russia ended today, according to a joint statement released Friday by the Ukrainian government, the European Commission and the World Bank. This is the first comprehensive assessment of the state of Ukraine’s economy and the damage caused by the conflict since the beginning of the Russian invasion last February, thus “explaining the financial needs and having a way to consider the reconstruction,” the statement said.

The sum represents 1.5 times the GDP recorded in 2021 by Ukraine and almost a third, 105 billion dollars, should be used for the most urgent needs, in the next three years. This estimate includes the destruction caused by the fight on infrastructure, housing and industry, especially in the east and south of the country, the cost of which is estimated at 97 billion dollars. “We have already launched reconstruction in the liberated areas, but this reconstruction requires a global approach and the support of our international partners,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, quoted in the press release. “The first phase alone, the rapid recovery, represents 17 billion dollars, of which 3.4 billion are needed this year,” he added.

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According to Anna Bjerde, Vice President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia, this assessment must “identify priorities for recovery while allowing us to continue to support the operation of essential services”, in the first place, health , education and social protection. Ukraine needs five billion dollars a month to keep its economy running despite the war, its finance minister, Sergey Marchenko, estimated in May.

An international effort, involving the G7 countries and the European Union, has so far raised 39 billion dollars, including nine billion for the EU. On Wednesday, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, proposed that the EU pay a financial aid of five billion euros, an integral part of the nine billion expected.

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