World Bank approves $723 million in loans and grants for Ukraine

A participant stands near a World Bank logo at the International Monetary Fund – World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Johannes P. Christo

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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) – The World Bank said on Monday its board had approved a $723 million loan and grant package for Ukraine, providing desperately needed public budget support. as the country struggled against a Russian invasion.

The package includes an additional loan of $350 million to an earlier World Bank loan, augmented by about $139 million with guarantees from the Netherlands and Sweden, the bank said in a statement.

It also includes $134 million in grants from Britain, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland under a trust fund that will continue to receive grants on behalf of Ukraine. . Japan is providing parallel funding of $100 million.

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A World Bank spokesperson said the funds are expected to be transferred to the Ukrainian government in the coming days.

World Bank budget support loans generally have no restrictions on how funds can be spent, but the bank said the “fast-disbursing” aid will help the Ukrainian government deliver essential services, pay hospital staff, fund pensions and continue social programs.

“The World Bank Group is taking swift action to support Ukraine and its people in the face of the extreme violence and disruption caused by the Russian invasion,” World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement. . “The World Bank Group stands with the people of Ukraine and the region. This is the first of many steps we are taking to help address the significant human and economic impact of this crisis.

The bank said it was continuing to work on another $3 billion support package for Ukraine in the coming months and additional support for neighboring countries hosting Ukrainian refugees, now exceeding 1.7 million. , mainly women, children and the elderly.

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Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Kim Coghill and Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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