People remove personal belongings from a burning house after being shelled in the city of Irpin, outside Kyiv. Photo Nampa/AFP
People remove personal belongings from a burning house after being shelled in the city of Irpin, outside Kyiv. Photo Nampa/AFP

World Bank approves support package for Ukraine

Nearly half a billion dollars more
The World Bank has called on its members to provide other grants to beef up funding for the war-torn country.
Washington - The World Bank has approved an additional US$489-million package in support for Ukraine, to be made available immediately and dubbed "Financing of Recovery from Economic Emergency in Ukraine," or "FREE Ukraine."

On March 1, the Washington-based institution announced it was preparing emergency aid worth US$3 billion for Ukraine, of which at least US$350 million were to be released immediately.

The board of directors decided to disburse an even larger amount on Monday.

"The package approved by the Board consists of a supplemental loan for US$350 million and guarantees in the amount of US$139 million," it said in a statement.

"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 programs for the vulnerable," it said.

PARALLEL FINANCING

The bank said it was "also mobilising grant financing of US$134 million and parallel financing of US$100 million, resulting in total mobilised support of US$723 million."

The World Bank specified that the Netherlands and Sweden were both contributing significant sums to the package, providing up to US$89 million and US$50 million dollars respectively.

The lender said it 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 US$134 million thus far."

It called on members to provide other grants to beef up funding.

Twelve days of war have left hundreds of civilians dead and thousands more injured in Ukraine.

More than 1.7 million people have fled the country since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24, more than half of whom have taken refuge in Poland, according to UN tallies. – Nampa/AFP

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