World Bank puts cost of rebuilding Ukraine at $411 billion
A police officer gestures to prevent photographing at the scene of a drone attack in the town of Rzhyshchiv, Kyiv region, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 22, 2023 4:09PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 22, 2023 4:41PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) - A World Bank report released Wednesday puts the cost of Ukraine's recovery and rebuilding from Russia's invasion at $411 billion over the next decade, with the cost of cleaning up the war rubble alone at $5 billion.
The report details some of the toll of Russia's war in Ukraine: at least 9,655 civilians confirmed dead, including 461 children; nearly 2 million homes damaged; more than one out of five public health institutions damaged; and 650 ambulances damaged or looted.
In all, the World Bank calculated $135 billion in direct damage to buildings and infrastructure so far, not counting broader economic damage.
The damage would be even worse if not for the strong defense mounted by the Ukrainian forces, Anna Bjerde, the World Bank vice president for Europe and Central Asia, noted in a call with reporters. She said the worst damage has been confined to the front-line regions of Donetsk, Kharkiv, Luhansk and Kherson.
As it is, the World Bank said, Russia's invasion has undone 15 years of economic progress in Ukraine, cutting Ukraine's gross domestic product by 29% and pushing 1.7 million Ukrainians into poverty.
The assessment was carried out by the government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, 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 persists. Postponing rebuilding and support “risks settling into a situation of low or no growth and facing huge social challenges once the war ends,” it said.
Ukraine's energy sector has seen the greatest surge in damage recently, as a result of 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.
Longer term, the officials estimated a cost in the trillions of dollars to Ukraine's economy just from the many ways the war has interrupted education. That includes the more than 2 million children estimated to have fled the country.