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World Bank says 1.8 million more Ukrainians living in poverty since 2020

by Nate Ostiller May 30, 2024 11:55 PM 2 min read
An elderly woman receives bread at a humanitarian aid distribution point in Kramatorsk, Donetsk Oblast, on Dec. 24, 2022. (Andriy Andriyenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The World Bank said that 1.8 million more Ukrainians are living in poverty than in 2020, in a report released on May 29.

The report was based on a survey conducted in collaboration with the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS). It found that 9 million Ukrainians, out of a total estimated population of 32 million, were living in poverty.

While the situation is dire, the World Bank said it would be much worse if Ukraine had not received foreign aid to help pay for pensions and salaries.

"If international partners, especially the U.S., had not crowded in resources specifically tailored to these social expenditures, then there would have been three million more people in poverty," Arup Banerji, the World Bank's regional director for Eastern Europe, told Reuters.

Around 25% of Ukrainians did not have enough money to buy food at some point in June 2023, the survey found.

The loss of employment was one of the main factors leading to the increase in poverty, the World Bank said. As many as 20% of people employed before the beginning of Russia's full-scale war reported losing their jobs since February 2022.

The Ukrainian government has nonetheless been able to keep most services running, even in areas with ongoing fighting, which the World Bank said was largely due to external funding.

Banerji said that ending the war and ensuring security was the priority, but also praised the Ukrainian government for its work stabilizing the economy and maintaining essential services.

"There can be no economic prosperity or economic growth without physical security," Banerji said.

"But I've never seen a government that has done so much with so little," he added.

Reuters: World Bank financing arm plans to invest $1.9 billion in Ukraine
The private financing arm of the World Bank plans to invest $1.9 billion in projects in Ukraine over the next 18 months, Reuters reported on April 22.

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