Foreign donors have pledged 60 billion euros ($66bn) for Ukraine over a multi-year period to help the country rebuild following Russia’s February 2022 invasion.
The commitments were made at the two-day Ukraine Recovery Conference in London and were mostly comprised of a 50 billion euro ($55bn) commitment from the European Union announced on Tuesday and new pledges from the United Kingdom and the United States.
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“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.
The World Bank has estimated the cost of reconstruction at more than $400bn, a figure rising daily alongside the human toll of the war.
Stressing the vast scale of the task, diplomats and political leaders at the London conference urged private-sector companies to invest as well. Nearly 500 companies from 42 countries have pledged to play their part, Cleverly said.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who was at the conference, thanked the delegates for their financial backing adding that Ukraine would not wait for the end of the war to start rebuilding.
Ukraine’s initial focus will be its energy sector, which has come under sustained attack in successive Russian raids, leaving families in the dark and unable to heat their homes during the bitterly cold winter months.
A US promise of more than $1.3bn in new aid, included more than $500m to restore and improve the country’s energy grid.
The conference also touched on issues such as Ukraine’s future membership of the European Union, with officials stressing the need for the country to make additional progress to meet conditions such as reducing corruption and reforming the judiciary.
Such reforms would send “a powerful message” to investors that they will get the “transparency, fairness and the functioning institutions they need to invest in Ukraine”, said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also highlighted the importance of anti-corruption efforts by Ukraine, a country long plagued by graft. He said some of the money pledged by the US would also go towards upgrading ports and border infrastructure and digitising customs procedures to make it harder to break the rules.
“The goal is to rebuild a Ukraine that is fit for [the] EU,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
Germany will host the next Ukraine recovery conference in 2024.