The World Bank said the $411 billion figure for the next 10 years should be considered a minimum as the war continues.
A World Bank report estimates that it will cost Ukraine $411 billion over the next 10 years to recover and rebuild from Russia’s war against the country, the bill for clearing the rubble of devastated towns and cities alone. amounts to USD 5 billion.
The report released Wednesday said estimates “should be considered minimums as needs will continue to rise as long as the war continues”.
Jointly produced by the government of Ukraine, the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations, the $411 billion estimate marked an increase from the $349 billion estimated in a report released by the bank in September.
The report details some of the economic and human toll of the Russian war, including nearly 2 million homes damaged, more than one in five public health facilities damaged, 650 ambulances damaged or stolen, and at least 9,655 civilians dead, including 461 children.
Ukraine’s reconstruction will take “several years,” Anna Bjerde, the World Bank’s vice president for Europe and Central Asia, said on Wednesday.
The report calculates $135 billion in direct damage to buildings and infrastructure so far, not counting the wider economic fallout from the more-than-year-long conflict.
But the damage could have been worse had it not been for the defenses of the Ukrainian forces, which kept the worst of the destruction confined to the frontline areas of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Kherson, Bjerde said in an interview with reporters.
The assessment expects Kiev to need $14 billion in critical and priority reconstruction and rehabilitation investments in 2023 alone. The International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it has reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine for a four-year financing package worth about $15.6 billion.
Despite Russia’s ferocious attack, Ukraine continues to maintain essential public services, including keeping schools and hospitals open, paying the salaries of teachers and civil servants and paying pensions, the World Bank said in February.
“Supporting these critical services remains a priority, and Ukraine needs about $3-4 billion a month to maintain them,” the bank’s Bjerde wrote at the time.
Russian invasion of #Ukraine has had a devastating impact, with billions of dollars in damaged or destroyed infrastructure and an additional 8 million Ukrainians living in poverty by 2022. Find out how @World Bank helps restore and rebuild the country: pic.twitter.com/u88OfA1wxM
— World Bank (@WorldBank) March 22, 2023
Millions of Ukrainians have been displaced by the invasion of Russia. World food and energy prices have also risen sharply as a result of the war.
According to the World Bank, Russia’s invasion has undone 15 years of economic progress in Ukraine so far, cut gross domestic product by 29 percent and pushed 1.7 million Ukrainians into poverty.
The report says it is essential to keep Ukraine’s government, business and recovery efforts going, even amid the attacks and fierce fighting in the east of the country. If Ukraine delays reconstruction, the country “risks settling in a situation of low or no growth and facing huge social challenges once the war is over,” the bank said.
Ukraine’s energy sector has suffered its worst wave of damage recently as a result of Russia’s targeted attacks on the power grid and other energy hubs over the winter, in an attempt to force the Ukrainian people and leadership in Kiev into submission.
The total damage to the energy sector is now five times greater than last summer, according to the World Bank.
“Energy infrastructure, housing, critical infrastructure, economy and humanitarian demining are our five priorities for this year,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said in a statement on Wednesday.
Shmyhal also warned that “the amount of damage and recovery needs currently do not account for data on the loss of infrastructure, homes and businesses in the occupied territories”.
Ukrainian authorities will begin rehabilitation work in these areas when they are liberated, he said.