International donor conference raises $6.5bn for Ukraine

An international donor conference for Ukraine in Warsaw has raised $6.5 billion, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced on Thursday.

In a video statement before the pledges were made, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said how the war ends also depends on Ukraine’s financial situation.

“Freedom must demonstrate that it protects and provides for the people better than tyranny,’’ Zelensky said, calling for a modern version of the Marshall Plan, a U.S. initiative, which gave aid to Western Europe after World War II.

The contributions were intended to fund humanitarian support, shore up Ukraine’s economy during Russia’s invasion, and help finance the country’s post-war recovery.

Poland and Sweden jointly organised the conference with the support of the European Commission and the European Council, and with the participation of representatives from the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Ukraine’s GDP to fall by 35 per cent in 2022 as a result of the Russian invasion.

According to the IMF, Ukraine had said it will need around $5 billion a month, over the next two to three months, to ensure the functioning of the government and important state institutions.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) says around 5.7 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24.

An estimated 7.7 million people were displaced within Ukraine, the UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said during the conference.

A separate event for Ukraine refugees in April raised around $9.9 billion. (dpa/NAN)

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