World Bank approves $350 mln loan to support reforms for economic recovery in Ukraine
KYIV. June 29 (Interfax) - The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a $350 million First Economic Recovery Development Policy Loan (DPL) for Ukraine in support of reforms that are critical to economic recovery.
According to the World Bank's press service, the key reforms supported by the DPL include: strengthening land and credit markets by creating a transparent and efficient market for agricultural land and resolving non-performing loans in state owned banks; fostering de-monopolization and anti-corruption institutions including by restructuring the gas sector; and bolstering the social safety net for the vulnerable elderly population to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is resulting in a sharp economic downturn that is hurting the incomes of ordinary Ukrainians and small businesses, and straining the government's budget. This development policy loan provides $350 million to support budget expenditures at a difficult time. The World Bank welcomes the Government's commitment to these reforms to prepare the economy for recovery, including the significant steps taken to end the moratorium on agricultural land sales, and to bolster benefits for the vulnerable elderly population," Arup Banerji, incoming World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, said.
This DPL is the first of two planned operations, with the second DPL expected to support the additional important land reform legislation and further strengthen pension benefits for the elderly population.
The development policy loan is part of the World Bank's stepped-up support to Ukraine to address the impacts of Covid-19 and complements the approval of additional financing of $135 million for the Serving People, Improving Health Project and $150 million for the Social Safety Nets Modernization Project.
Additional support to directly cushion the most vulnerable population from the impact of the pandemic is also under preparation.
Since Ukraine joined the World Bank in 1992, the Bank's commitments to the country have totaled about $14 billion for more than 80 projects and programs.