IMF says Ukraine needs up to $5B a month as EU, Germany push ‘new Marshall Plan’

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday warned that Ukraine needs at least $3 billion a month in financial assistance through 2023 as the war with Russia continues but warned that number could jump to as high as $5 billion a month if Russia continues its destructive bombing campaign.

“This is no easy task,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told world leaders at an event on focusing on Ukrainian recovery and macro-financing needs.

“As events on the ground are shifting every day,” she continued, “it is very difficult to develop a set of macroeconomic projections as a basis for the budget.”

A rescuer stands on the rubble of a building destroyed by Russian shelling, as they start searching for bodies, amid Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, in Borodyanka, Kyiv region, Ukraine April 10, 2022. (REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra/Reuters Photos)

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Georgieva said the estimates were reached after working with Ukrainian officials to address what is needed to help Ukraine recover and rebuild following the devastation caused by Russia’s invasion in February.

The war is far from over, and the IMF leader said unpredictability on the battlefront makes estimating costs that much more challenging.

“In a best-case scenario, we estimate that Ukraine’s financing needs would be about $3 billion per month,” she said referring to funding Kyiv will need in the initial recovery phase. “When we incorporate some additional financing for higher gas imports and some repair of critical infrastructure, we quickly reach $4 billion per month.

“The recent missile attacks, which have clearly caused much more damage, not only confirms the validity of these estimates but leads us to consider $5 billion upper range,” she added.

Georgieva said that once the fighting stops the cost estimates of the second “reconstruction phase” were “truly astounding.”

The World Bank has estimated that some $97 billion in damage has already been incurred, largely in the housing and transportation sectors, though other estimates range as high at $130 billion in damages.

UN Starvation

Sergei, 11, waits his turn to receive donated food during an aid humanitarian distribution in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File / AP Newsroom)

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“Beyond damage costs the Bank estimates total reconstruction needs in the order of $349 billion,” she said. “These are truly staggering figures—well beyond Ukraine’s annual GDP of $200 billion in 2021, before Russia’s invasion.”

The IMF chief said the international agency was already working with Ukraine to establish macro-financing policies that it needs now, and said it will continue to do so for future projects.

Western nations have assisted Kyiv since the war began with humanitarian, military and financial aid.

However, leaders from the European Union and Germany pushed a proposal Tuesday on how to sustain the epic financial assistance Ukraine needs.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who dubbed the proposal the “new Marshall Plan,” said rebuilding Ukraine would be a “generational task that must begin now.”

Ursula-von-der-Leyen giving a speech

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, center, speaks during a commission on Russia’s escalation of its war of aggression against Ukraine, at the European Parliament, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Strasbourg, France. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias/AP Newsroom)

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In reference to the US-sponsored plan to help rebuild Europe following World War II, Olaf said a new program was needed to ensure “financing of the recovery, reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine for years and decades to come.”

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that “fast recovery” was also needed for Ukraine in a more immediate sense in order to help Kyiv repair critical infrastructure that Russia has increasingly targeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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