World Bank board approves $1.49 billion in new funds for Ukraine

The IMF logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) logo is seen outside the headquarters building in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Reuters) - The World Bank's executive board approved $1.49 billion of additional financing for Ukraine on Tuesday to help pay wages for government and social workers, expanding the bank's total pledged support to over $4 billion.

The World Bank said in a statement that the latest funding is supported by financing guarantees from Britain, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Latvia. The project is also being supported by parallel financing from Italy and contributions from a new Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

Ukraine has said that it needs at least $5 billion per month in the near term to keep its government operating in the face of the invasion by Russia in February and fighting that has shut down vast portions of its economy. Finance leaders from the Group of Seven industrial democracies last month pledged $9.5 billion in new funding, bringing their non-military support to nearly $20 billion. read more

The World Bank has been working with donor countries to use its various financing programs to support health care, education, social services, power and water supplies and roads.

The core services were "essential to preventing further deterioration in living conditions and poverty in Ukraine beyond the suffering inflicted because of the war," World Bank Eastern Europe country director Arup Banerji said in a statement.

Such services would also be "the bedrock of any recovery and reconstruction," Banerji added.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool

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