Refugees flee war in Ukraine
Refugees flee war in UkraineISTOCK

The World Bank has approved a $723 million emergency aid package for Ukraine, including funds to help the government provide critical services such as hospital wages, pensions and social programs for the vulnerable.

Financing of Recovery from Economic Emergency in Ukraine (FREE Ukraine) will provide an initial $489 million and a supplemental loan of $350 million, along with guarantees in the amount of $139 million, a mobilizing grant financing of $134 million and parallel financing of $100 million.

“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,” World Bank President David Malpass said. “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 initial World Bank loan was increased with provisions of $89 million from the Netherlands and $50 million from Sweden. A multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) has also been set up to enable contributions to be given to Ukraine, with the UK, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland so far pledging $134 million.

The World Bank said in a statement that it is preparing a $3 billion support package for Ukraine to be finalized “in the coming months” as well as “additional support to neighboring countries receiving Ukrainian refugees.”

According to the World Bank, its projects in Ukraine since 1992 include “improvements in basic public services, in areas such as water supply, sanitation, heating, power, energy efficiency, roads, social protection, education and healthcare, as well as private sector development.”