EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, in charge of the bank's operations in Ukraine, outlined the new “EU for Ukraine Initiative” in Washington DC this week. Presenting the package at the Third Ministerial Roundtable Discussion for Support to Ukraine, President Hoyer said, “Ukraine’s survival does not depend only on ammunition and guns, but in keeping the economy going. This is our focus.”
President Hoyer explained that the initiative, which was recently approved by the Board of Directors of the EIB, foresees the establishment of a Trust Fund which will enable European Union Member States, the European Commission, and other countries and donors to support reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine. The EU for Ukraine Fund will provide credit enhancement to EIB loans for both public and private sector investment.
The initiative will also entail a €100 million dedicated technical assistance package to provide best-practice reconstruction advisory expertise. It comes on top of €1.7 billion that the EIB, with the support of the European Commission, has mobilised and disbursed to Ukraine since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022.
Welcoming the package, Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said, “international support in financing rapid recovery is urgently needed for Ukraine. According to the recent Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA2), the cost for reconstruction and recovery needs in 2023 is $14 billion. The priority areas are energy, housing, critical, social infrastructure, and the private sector. And the new EU for Ukraine Initiative from the EIB can play an important role in restoring Ukraine from the devastating consequences of the military aggression.”
EIB Vice-President Czerwińskaexplained, “the technical assistance part of our package means that the EIB is already able to put together a pipeline of projects that respond to the urgent priorities and needs of our Ukrainian partners.”
This pipeline of projects which has been already discussed with the Ukrainian line ministries, will include several programmes in the public sector for a total amount of around €2 billion supporting repairs and rebuilding of the most urgent elements of the country’s transport infrastructure and logistical corridors, digital and cybersecurity projects, municipal infrastructure and vital support to the energy sector.
Speaking after the event, Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, also welcomed the EIB’s initiative to continue supporting Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery. “Countries and donors must now step up funding to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, support investments and local businesses. The European Commission will support these efforts.”
Later, President Hoyer, Vice-President Czerwińska and the EIB delegation met Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and his team to discuss the pipeline of projects that the EIB has been putting together with the Ukrainian authorities. “We count on the support of the EIB in restoring critical infrastructure and grateful for the quick and timely assistance during the war,” Prime Minister Shmyhal said during the discussion.
EIB President Hoyer also underlined the Bank's commitment to supporting Ukraine’s resilience in its hours of need, while also laying the ground for the accession of the country to the EU.
“Our EU for Ukraine Initiative and the strong pipeline of the projects on which the EIB is working closely with the Ukrainian government will not just support Ukraine’s resilience today in the face of Russian aggression, but this package and the further support we intend to mobilise with the help of EU member states and the European Commission will also pave the way for the country’s EU Membership,” said President Hoyer.
Italy announced that it will commit €100 million to the trust fund of the EU for Ukraine Initiative, launched by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in March 2023 to support the reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine.