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World Bank preparing $3B package for Ukraine

World Bank preparing $3B package for Ukraine
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund said that they are assessing the economic and financial impacts of the war in Ukraine. Photo by Oleksandr Khomenko/ UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- The World Bank said it is working on a $3 billion package to aid Ukraine as it fights against a Russian invasion with the first $550 million to be tabled for approval in the coming days.

In a joint statement with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank said it is preparing the package of support for the coming months, with the a fast-disbursing budget of at least $350 million to be submitted this week followed by another $200 million to support health and education in the embattled country.

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The package, it said, will mobilize financing from several partners while the IMF said its board could also approve the disbursement of funds through its Rapid Financing Instrument as early as next week as it seeks to answer Ukraine's request for emergency financing.

"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the devastating human and economic toll brought by the war in Ukraine. People are being killed, injured and forced to flee and massive damage is caused to the country's physical infrastructure," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass said. "We stand with the Ukrainian people through these horrifying developments."

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They said their institutions are also working to assess the economic and financial fallout this conflict could cause, including that due to refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.

The week-long war has already created some 660,000 refugees, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The fighting has already caused "significant spillovers" to other countries and have driven commodity prices higher at the risk of further fueling inflation, they said, adding that poor nations will be hit hardest by these effects.

RELATED U.N. seeks $1.7B for Ukrainian refugees, says 660,000 have fled

"Disruptions in financial markets will continue to worsen should the conflict persist," they said.

Last week, Russia invaded Ukraine, resulting in democratic nations repeatedly imposing sanctions against Moscow and a growing number of international businesses announcing they are either suspending their operations in the country or pulling out all together.

The financial leaders said the sanctions will have "a significant economic impact."

"We are assessing the situation and discussing appropriate policy responses with our international partners," they said. "We stand ready to provide enhanced policy, technical and financial support to neighboring countries as needed."

The announcement came as the UNHRC appealed Monday to the international community for $1.7 billion to deliver urgently needed humanitarian support to people in Ukraine and refugees.

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The U.N. agency said it estimates that 12 million people inside Ukraine will need relief and protection while 4 million Ukrainian refugees may need help in the coming months.

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