During the meeting between representatives of the war-torn Ukraine and the heads of financial institutions in Washington on Wednesday, the World Bank announced that it would grant $200 million to restore Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The international lender stated that Russia had damaged more than 50 percent of Ukraine’s electricity infrastructure during the fall and winter strikes on its neighbour. The region of Ukraine that has experienced the most intense warfare suffered particularly heavy damage.
The Ukraine Relief, Recovery, Reconstruction and Reform Trust Fund (URTF) provided the funds, and the Bank said that partners could contribute up to $300 million in additional funding as the project expanded its scope.
The project will target emergency repairs to electricity and heating infrastructure.
“Energy infrastructure has suffered $11 billion in damages over the last year and is one of the most critical areas where Ukraine needs urgent support,” said World Bank Managing Director of Operations Anna Bjerde.
The World Bank has mobilized more than $23 billion in financing for Ukraine since Russia invaded in February last year, with $20 billion disbursed so far.
The announcement came just ahead of a roundtable on Ukraine at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), held during the crisis lender’s spring meetings.
During the event, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked partners via video link for their support and urged further backing.
“By rebuilding what has been ruined, we defeat the goal of terror, we return the normal life,” he said in English, reiterating a call for Russian assets to be put towards Ukraine’s reconstruction.
The IMF announced on March 31 that it had approved a $15.6 billion support package for Ukraine, forming the fund’s portion of a $115 billion overall support package comprised of debt relief, grants and loans by multilateral and bilateral institutions.