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World Bank to spend $170B as global growth forecast drops amid Ukraine war

World Bank President David Malpass addresses the media in 2019. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/29537738496dcbc1b5ff80e466732abc/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
World Bank President David Malpass addresses the media in 2019. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

April 18 (UPI) -- The World Bank plans to spend $170 billion to ease a projected worldwide economic slowdown amid Russia's war in Ukraine.

On Monday, the World Bank lowered its global growth forecast for 2022 by nearly 1 percentage point, down from 4.1% to 3.2%. Higher food and oil costs, fueled by Western sanctions on Russian energy are to blame, along with what World Bank President David Malpass calls the largest factor: a projected economic slowdown across Europe and Central Asia.

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The World Bank's member governments are meeting this week in Washington, D.C., for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group's annual spring meetings.

The World Bank says it is prepared to spend $50 billion over the next three months to ease the burdens of inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the COVID-19 pandemic, along with plans to spend another $120 billion over the next year.

RELATED World Bank says Ukraine's economy on pace to shrink by almost half this year

Malpass told reporters, "I'm deeply concerned about developing countries. They are facing sudden price increases for energy, fertilizer, and food, and the likelihood of interest rate increases. Each one hits them hard," according to the Guardian.

The World Bank also blamed the hike in food prices on Russia's disruption of Ukraine's agricultural exports. Russia has blocked Ukraine's major Black Sea ports, cutting off its grain supplies to the rest of the world.

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In an April 10 forecast, the World Bank predicted Ukraine's economy could shrink by nearly half this year, 45.1%, due to the war. The World Bank said the "magnitude of the contraction will depend on the duration and intensity of the war."

RELATED Oxfam: Ukraine war, rising prices helping to push millions more into extreme poverty

The World Bank's current $170 billion finance plan, to help ease this year's projected worldwide economic slowdown amid the war in Ukraine, tops its $160 billion package for COVID-19 relief.

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