A family gets in the car after loading up belongings from their apartment in Borodyanka, Ukraine, on Thursday. Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said it will cost $600 billion to rebuild the country following Russia's war. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
April 22 (UPI) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called on members of the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance, stating it will cost $600 billion dollars to rebuild the war-torn country following Russia's invasion.
The prime minister made the appeal Thursday during a ministerial meeting held by the IMF and the World Back in Washington, D.C., as the Russia's war nears entering its third month.
Since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, more than 2,340 civilians have been killed with another 5 million forced to flee. The war has also laid destruction to the nation's buildings, and the estimate Shmyhal gave Thursday is an increase of almost $50 billion from the figure he gave mid-March.
Shmyhal detailed during the bank's spring meeting about "Russia's plans to destroy Ukraine and the Ukrainian economy" and that in the short term Kyiv will require an estimated $4 billion to $5 billion a month over the next six months to survive.
"Blocked ports, strikes on factories, attempts to disrupt sowing, destroyed cities. It's all part of that plane," he said in a statement about his remarks made during the meeting.
The World Bank forecast earlier this month that Ukraine's economy could contract by 45% this year with a worse case scenario seeing its gross domestic product shrink by 75%.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva had discussed post-war reconstruction efforts, and Shmyhal said Thursday that he urges members of the Washington-based lender to donated 10% of their special drawing rights to Ukraine as an answer to the economic crisis.
SPDs are an international reserve asset that the IMF created to supplement the reserves of its member nations, and if the nations allot Kyiv 10% of their stakes in the reserve, it would give the country access to billions of dollars that Shmyhal said they can use to "continue to fulfill our social obligations, maintain business, restore critical infrastructure."
The IMF in March approved the disbursement of $1.4 billion for Ukraine through its Rapid Financing Instrument.
On Thursday, Georgieva agreed with Shmyhal's estimate that Ukraine will need $5 billion a month over the next three months just to keep its economy functioning.
"So, more external financing is necessary -- especially concessional funding and fast-disbursing grants," she said during her opening marks at the roundtable.
"We must hope and pray for peace to come quickly -- when it comes we pursue the opportunities it will bring to rebuild a strong and prosperous Ukraine," she said. "For now, our support to Ukraine must allow the country to continue to function and face the challenges created by the war."
Ukrainian service members stand beside a damaged building in a residential area after shelling in Kyiv, Ukraine, on March 18. Photo by Vladyslav Musiienko/UPI | License Photo