Washington: The World Bank announced that it has approved a $723 million financial package for Ukraine as the country is fighting the ongoing Russian invasion.
In a statement posted on its website, the global lender said that World Bank Board of Executive Directors on Monday approved a supplemental budget support package for Ukraine, called Financing of Recovery from Economic Emergency in Ukraine – or FREE Ukraine – for $489 million.
“The package approved by the Board consists of a supplemental loan for $350 million and guarantees in the amount of $139 million and is also mobilising grant financing of $134 million and parallel financing of $100 million, resulting in total mobilised support of $723 million,” it said.
The statement went on to say that the “fast-disbursing support will help the government provide critical services to Ukrainian people, including wages for hospital workers, pensions for the elderly, and social programs for the vulnerable”.
The initial World Bank support was increased with guarantees from the Netherlands for 80 million euros ($89 million) and Sweden for $50 million, it said.
The World Bank further said that it has also set up a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) to facilitate channeling grant resources from donors to Ukraine, with contributions from the UK, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland in the amount of $134 million thus far.
In addition, Japan is linking $100 million in parallel financing to the support package.
“The World Bank Group is taking quick action to support Ukraine and its people in the face of the violence and extreme disruption caused by the Russian invasion,” the global lender’s President David Malpass was quoted as saying in the statement.
“The World Bank Group stands with the people of Ukraine and the region. This is the first of many steps we are taking to help address the far-reaching human and economic impacts of this crisis.”
The statement also revealed that the World Bank Group is preparing a $3 billion package of support for Ukraine in the coming months and additional support to neighbouring countries receiving Ukrainian refugees.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, since the onset of the invasion, 1.7 million Ukrainians – primarily women, children, and elderly – have fled to neighbouring countries.