It will take a staggering $ 411 billion over the next decade to rebuild Ukraine following Russia’s devastating military invasion, a World Bank report released on Wednesday (March 23) has said.
The cost of cleaning up the war rubble alone would come to at $5 billion.
The report said the war has claimed 9,655 civilian lives including 461 children, damaged nearly two million homes and more than one out of five public health institutions while 650 ambulances were either damaged or looted.
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According to the World Bank, $135 billion will be the cost in direct destruction to buildings and infrastructure so far, not counting the broader economic damage.
The cost of the war would have been even worse if not for the strong defence mounted by Ukrainian forces, Anna Bjerde, the World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia, told the media.
She said the worst damage has been confined to Ukraine’s front-line regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Kherson.
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The World Bank said that Russia’s invasion has undone 15 years of economic progress in Ukraine, cutting the country’s gross domestic product by 29 per cent and pushing 1.7 million Ukrainians into poverty.
The assessment was carried out jointly by the Ukraine government, the World Bank, the European Commission and the United Nations.
The findings are meant to guide planning for financing and carrying out what is an ongoing recovery effort in Ukraine.
The report said it was essential to keep Ukraine’s government and private business and recovery efforts going even as bombs fall and fighting continues into a second year.
Ukraine’s energy sector has seen the greatest surge in damage recently due to Russia’s targeted strikes on the electrical grid and other energy hubs during the winter.
Total damage to the energy sector is now five times greater than it was last summer, the World Bank said.
More than two million children are estimated to have fled the country.
(With agency inputs)