West pledges billions to Ukraine at rebuilding conference | Inquirer News

West pledges billions to Ukraine at rebuilding conference

/ 05:47 PM June 21, 2023

Ukraine rebuilding conference

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attend a meeting during the G7 leaders’ summit in Hiroshima, Japan May 20, 2023 Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

LONDON — Britain, the United States and the European Union pledged on Wednesday billions of dollars more help to rebuild Ukraine, with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak launching a war insurance framework to try to spur companies to invest.

While welcoming the support, the answer from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was blunt – Kyiv needs concrete commitments to projects that will help Ukraine not only recover but to develop into a powerful member of the Western world.


After nearly 16 months of a war that has destroyed homes, hospitals and other critical infrastructure across Ukraine, Sunak appealed to businesses and governments at a recovery conference in London to do more to help rebuild the country.


Addressing the key difficulty for most companies wanting to invest in Ukraine – insurance against war damage and destruction – Sunak announced the London Conference Framework for War Risk insurance, which could pave the way for derisking investment, though he was light on details.

“Together with our allies we will maintain our support for Ukraine’s defense and for the counteroffensive, and we’ll stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes as they continue to win this war,” Sunak told the conference, which brought together more than 1,000 public and private sector decision makers.

He said the London Conference Framework was “a huge step forward towards helping insurers to underwrite investments into Ukraine, removing one of the biggest barriers and giving investors the confidence they need to act”.

More aid offers

Sunak also unveiled measures including $3 billion of additional guarantees to unlock World Bank lending that Ajay Banga, president of the World Bank Group, said would allow his group to continue to help “people rebuild their lives after devastation”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU would provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros for 2024-27, while U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered $1.3 billion in additional aid.

But Zelenskiy, speaking via video link, said his country needed more targeted help in “real projects” that would spur growth in an economy he said had moved far away from the oligarchic model of Ukraine’s immediate post-Soviet era.


“We must move from agreement to real projects,” he said. “There is a Ukrainian delegation that will present concrete things and we propose to do them together during my tour.”

Ukraine is seeking up to $40 billion to fund the first part of a “Green Marshall Plan” to rebuild its economy, including developing a coal-free steel industry, a senior Ukrainian official said before the conference.

The total bill will be huge, with Ukraine, the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations estimating in March that the cost was at $411 billion for the first year of the war. It could easily reach more than $1 trillion.

Sunak and other Western officials hope the conference will encourage the private sector to use its resources to help speed Ukraine’s reconstruction by investing in small and medium-scale projects. He said more than 400 companies from 38 countries had signed up to the Ukraine Business Compact, a statement of support for Ukraine’s recovery.

But companies might still want to know whether nations can agree on a way of providing insurance against war damage and destruction. It was not clear how far the launch of the London Conference Framework for War Risk Insurance would help ease such concerns.

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TAGS: European Union, rebuilding, Russia-Ukraine war, USA

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