Ukraine needs $42 billion budget support this year and next -PM Shmyhal

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal speaks as he meets Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 19, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

By David Lawder and Andrea Shalal

MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Wednesday the country would need budget support of about $42 billion this year and next year to plug a massive deficit and aid reconstruction from the devastation caused by Russia’s invasion.

Shmyhal told a high-level roundtable to support Ukraine held during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Marrakech, Morocco, that Ukraine’s state budget deficit would be about 20% of the country’s GDP this year and 21% in 2024.

“We expect support from all our partners, both in equal amounts, Shmyhal said. “This will allow the government to meet its basic social obligations to pay pensions, salaries to doctors and teachers, and to help those whose homes have been destroyed by Russia.”

He said the World Bank has been helping to assess recovery needs, adding that $14 billion alone would be needed for a rapid-recovery response program.

Shmyhal said the key to the country’s resilience has been economic reform programs, including those to fight corruption and boost digitalization. He said that Ukraine was preparing a single reform “road map” through 2027 based on international recommendations and Ukraine’s proposals

World Bank President Ajay Banga said reforms that lay out a predictable policy path in key sectors could attract more private investment, especially in digital infrastructure.

“If the right conditions are created, we estimate that as much as one-third of Ukraine’s future needs could be met with private-sector financing,” Banga said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at the roundtable also urged President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to stay focused on fighting corruption and pledged U.S. support for Ukraine for “as long as it takes.”


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