World Bank preparing $1.5 billion aid package for Ukraine

"The World Bank was created in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II. As we did then, we will be ready to help Ukraine with reconstruction when the time comes," WB president said.

A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank Annual Meeting 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/JOHANNES P. CHRISTO)
A participant stands near a logo of World Bank at the International Monetary Fund - World Bank Annual Meeting 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/JOHANNES P. CHRISTO)

 The World Bank is preparing a $1.5 billion support package for war-torn Ukraine, including a $1 billion payment from the development lender's fund for the poorest countries, World Bank President David Malpass said on Tuesday.

Malpass, speaking in Warsaw, said the package was enabled by Monday's approval of $1 billion in International Development Association (IDA) aid by donor and recipient countries as well as a $100 million IDA payment to neighboring Moldova.

In remarks ahead of next week's World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, Malpass said the bank's support was helping Ukraine provide critical services, including paying wages for hospital workers, pensions and social programs.

"The World Bank was created in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II. As we did then, we will be ready to help Ukraine with reconstruction when the time comes," Malpass said.

The plan still needs full approval by the World Bank's board of directors in the coming weeks, a World Bank spokesperson said.

 World Bank President David Malpass attends a news conference at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China November 21, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/FLORENCE LO/FILE PHOTO) World Bank President David Malpass attends a news conference at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, China November 21, 2019. (credit: REUTERS/FLORENCE LO/FILE PHOTO)

Malpass did not specify the source of the additional $500 million for Ukraine.

The aid comes on top of about $923 million in fast-disbursing financing approved by the World Bank last month, which also includes donor country contributions.

Malpass said the World Bank was in close contact with Ukrainian authorities to provide support and was working to assist Ukrainian refugees and the countries hosting them.

He said the World Bank was analyzing the global impacts of the war in Ukraine, including the spike in food and energy prices, and is "preparing a surge crisis response that will provide focused support for developing countries."