Food

World Bank allocates $30 billion to help offset food shortages exacerbated by war in Ukraine

World Bank allocates  billion to help offset food shortages exacerbated by war in Ukraine
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SARAJEVO, Sept. 15 (Reuters) – The World Bank is ready to provide up to $30 billion to combat global food shortages exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and has so far disbursed nearly $10 billion in financial aid to Kiev promised, said a senior bank official. on Thursday.

Axel van Trotsenburg, the bank’s general director of operations, mentioned “an absolute need for international solidarity with Ukraine” during an interview with Reuters during a visit to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

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“And that solidarity must be sustained not only in the short term, but also in the long term,” he said.

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Van Trotsenburg said the World Bank began providing aid to Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion of February 24 and has so far disbursed nearly $10 billion of $13 billion in aid it pledged to Kiev.

He said the bank had created a platform to combine its direct and additional support from countries such as the United States, Britain and Japan with separate guarantees from European states, as well as to facilitate co-financing and parallel financing. It had also established a donor trust fund.

While several countries have channeled aid through the trust fund, he said, the largest amounts have come from the United States with an average of at least $1.5 billion of the nearly $5 billion in external financing Kiev needs each month.

“We have set up (a) system that will help us continue Ukraine’s state functions – paying teachers’ salaries, pensions, helping the health system. That has worked very well and some of our partner countries wanted to use that mechanism because we can also trace money,” said Van Trotsenburg.

He said the bank also supports Ukrainians affected by the war, both at home and abroad, as well as neighboring and developing countries outside Europe who are suffering disruptions to Ukraine’s grain exports as a result of the war.

“This is one of the reasons why the World Bank has announced that we are willing to fund up to $30 billion to address food insecurity over the next 12 months.”

A report released Friday by the World Bank, the European Commission and the Ukrainian government said the Russian invasion had caused more than $97 billion in direct damage as of June 1, but could cost nearly $350 billion to rebuild the country. rebuild. read more

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Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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