Ukraine secures desperately needed funds from World Bank

Al Jazeera :
Ukraine has received a vital $1.34bn in funds from the World Bank.
The funding has been paid out to support non-security related financial and economic stability, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The cash boost will be welcomed by Kyiv, which warns that its ability to defend against the Russian invasion could soon be impacted by delays in funding from the United States and the European Union.
In a statement, the ministry noted that the financing, which is the Sixth Additional Financing under its Public Expenditures for Administrative Capacity Endurance in Ukraine (PEACE) project, consisted of a $1.086bn loan from the World Bank, a $190m grant from Norway, a $50m grant from the United States and a $20m grant from Switzerland.
The funds are expected to be used to partially compensate for non-security and defence-related expenditures of the Ukrainian state budget, including old-age social payments and payments to employees of the state emergency service, the ministry added.
“International financial assistance is a significant contribution to maintaining Ukraine’s financial and economic stability and allows us to provide priority social expenditures during the war,” said Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko.
“Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the governments of Japan, the United States, Norway and Switzerland have repeatedly demonstrated their unwavering support and solidarity for Ukraine. I am grateful to our partners for their willingness to cooperate and help us at a crucial time for Ukraine.”
It has been nearly two years since Russia invaded Ukraine, and as the war continues to rage uncertainty is growing over Western backing for Ukraine.
Earlier this month, the White House warned the United States Congress that funds designated for providing aid to Ukraine would run out by the end of the year, amid Russia’s intensifying campaign to knock out the country’s energy infrastructure.
The US, Ukraine’s biggest single-country donor, has sent more than $40bn in aid since Russia’s invasion in February 2022. But right-wing congressional Republicans have expressed increasing scepticism towards approving more funds for Ukraine.
The United States Senate has said they will vote on an aid package for Ukraine in 2024. But Congress could continue to hold up the money.The impasse over US aid to Kyiv is mirrored in the European Union, where Hungary is blocking a 50 billion euro ($55bn) aid package. The bloc is due to revisit the issue in January.
The difficulties in securing the funds in Washington and Brussels have raised concerns in Kyiv that Western backers are experiencing “fatigue” with the drawn-out battle, as fighting on the front line becomes bogged down.

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