For a multi-year period, foreign donors have promised 60 billion euros ($66 billion) for Ukraine to aid in the country’s rebuilding following Russia’s invasion in February 2022.
The commitments were made at the two-day Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, and the majority of them came from the European Union, which made a commitment of 50 billion euros ($55 billion) on Tuesday, as well as from additional pledges from the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We had not envisaged this to be a pledging conference. Nevertheless, today at this conference, we can announce a combined 60 billion euros in support to Ukraine,” said British Foreign Minister James Cleverly.
Homes, hospitals, and essential infrastructure are in ruins, and Kyiv will need to rebuild for years, if not decades, after nearly 16 months since Russia started its full-scale assault.
With the war’s mounting death toll, the World Bank has predicted that rebuilding will cost more than $400 billion.
At the London summit, diplomats and political figures emphasised the size of the task and asked private corporations to contribute as well. According to Cleverly, around 500 businesses from 42 different nations have committed to do what they can to help.
Denys Shmyhal, the prime minister of Ukraine, thanked the conference attendees for their financial support and said that his country will not wait for the conflict to be over before beginning rebuilding.
Ukraine’s initial focus will be on its energy industry, which has been repeatedly targeted by Russia, leaving residents in the dark and unable to heat their homes during the severely cold winter months.
US officials pledged more than $1.3 billion in new aid, including more than $500 million for the country’s electrical sector.
Officials stressed the need for further progress to be made by the nation to satisfy requirements like lowering corruption and improving the judiciary as the conference also touched on topics including Ukraine’s potential membership in the European Union.
According to President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, such reforms will convey “a powerful message” to investors that they will receive the “transparency, fairness, and the functioning institutions they need to invest in Ukraine.”
The importance of Ukraine’s anti-corruption initiatives was also emphasised by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Ukraine has a long record of corruption. In order to make it more difficult to flout the law, he said that part of the funds promised by the US will also be used to upgrade port and border infrastructure and digitise customs procedures.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said, “The goal is to rebuild a Ukraine that is fit for [the] EU.”
The next Ukraine recovery conference will take place in Germany in 2024.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES