31 Jan 2023 16:04

Ukraine needs $17 bln for urgent reconstruction, another $38 bln for covering budget deficit in 2023 - PM Shmygal

MOSCOW. Jan 31 (Interfax) - The energy sector, housing, demining efforts, critical social infrastructure, and support for private businesses are among the priorities of Ukraine's urgent reconstruction program in 2023, for which $17 billion should be raised, Ukrainian media quoted Prime Minister Denis Shmygal as saying in a video address to the participants in a business forum on Ukraine's reconstruction in Luxembourg on Tuesday.

"We expect the world to continue to demonstrate strong support," Shmygal said. He said he expected Donor Coordination Platform set up last week would play an important role in raising $17 billion, in addition to $38 billion needed to finance state budget deficit.

As concerns the energy sector, its recovery includes not only the reconstruction of 400 damaged elements of the power supply infrastructure, but also its reorganization and decentralization, he said.

The reconstruction of the destroyed and damaged housing sector would cost in total over $55 billion, he said.

Living in cities would also be impossible before restoring critical social infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and utilities, he said.

Speaking of the private business sector, Shmygal estimated direct losses it suffered in 2022 at $13 billion and indirect ones at over $33 billion. The government is supporting businesses with easy loans and grants, but they need more, he said.

The cost of Ukraine's recovery confirmed by the World Bank was estimated at $350 billion in June 2022, and this figure has currently grown to $600 billion - $700 billion, he said.

While a reconstruction fund has also been established within the Ukrainian state budget, it is quite limited, as domestic sources currently provide for only 50% of its financing, he said.

The prime minister mentioned the United-24 platform as yet another source of financing.

Great hopes have been pinned on creating a military risk insurance mechanism and drawing private investments, for which the government is doing away with excessive regulation and setting up industrial parks and other elements of an appealing business climate, he said.