The World Bank board of executive directors approved on March 8 a supplemental budget support package for Ukraine, called Financing of Recovery from Economic Emergency in Ukraine – or FREE Ukraine – for $489 million, the World Bank said.
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.
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 programmes for the vulnerable, the World Bank said.
The initial World Bank support was increased with guarantees from the Netherlands for 80 million euro ($89 million equivalent) and Sweden for $50 million.
The World Bank has also set up a multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) to facilitate channelling grant resources from donors to Ukraine, with contributions from the UK, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland in the amount of $134 million thus far.
The World Bank is calling for further grant contributions to the MDTF. In addition, Japan is linking $100 million in parallel financing to the support package.
The World Bank Group is preparing a $3 billion package of support for Ukraine in the coming months and additional support to neighboring countries receiving Ukrainian refugees.
According to UNHCR, since the onset of the invasion, 1.7 million Ukrainians – primarily women, children, and elderly – have fled to neighbouring countries.
Medium and long-term support will be needed for the provision of public services, both for refugee and host communities, and labour market access for refugees.
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