WASHINGTON: The World Bank said on Monday (Oct 24) it had disbursed an additional US$500 million to help Ukraine meet urgent spending needs created by Russia's Feb 24 invasion and the ongoing war.
The financing by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the bank's main lending arm, was supported by US$500 million in loan guarantees from Britain that were announced on Sep 30, the bank said.
It comes on the eve of a recovery conference taking place in Berlin on Tuesday, where national leaders, development experts and CEOs will discuss how to rebuild Ukraine after Russia's invasion, now entering its ninth month.
“The Russian invasion continues to cause massive destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure - including water, sanitation, and electricity networks - just as winter is approaching, further endangering Ukrainian people,” World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement.
“The new portion of financing disbursed today will be used to maintain essential government services. We stand firmly to support the Ukrainian people as they face this unparalleled crisis.”
The World Bank has mobilised a total of US$13 billion in emergency financing for Ukraine, of which US$11.4 billion has been fully disbursed.
Russia's invasion caused over US$97 billion in direct damages to Ukraine through Jun 1, but it could cost nearly US$350 billion to rebuild the country, the World Bank, Ukrainian government and the European Commission said in a report released in September.
Moscow has called its actions a special military operation to rid its neighbour of extremists.