World Bank President David Malpass on Tuesday strongly deplored the incursion into Ukraine by Russia.
The war started on February 24 and has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians. More than 4 million have fled, the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.
On Tuesday, Malpass delivered a speech ahead of IMF-WBG 2022 Spring Meetings, setting out how conflict, COVID-19, and climate change are creating unprecedented challenges for developing countries.
Malpass said he had “been deeply shocked and horrified at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the atrocities committed” against citizens, the loss of life and livelihoods.
The President said the attacks on people and infrastructure are causing tremendous suffering, threatening international peace and security, and endangering basic social and economic needs.
“I’m pleased to announce today that the World Bank is currently preparing a $1.5billion operation for Ukraine to support continuation of essential government services during the war”, he announced.
The institution said the donation was enabled by the approval of IDA19 support of $1billion to Ukraine and $100million to Moldova by IDA donor and recipient countries.
Malpass noted that since the invasion, the World Bank has helped Ukraine to provide critical services to people, including wages for hospital workers, pensions for the elderly, and social programs for the vulnerable.
“Through IFC, we have provided immediate working capital for companies providing supplies to Ukraine”, he added.
The body of more than 180 member countries is working to assist refugees to return home, help communities as they absorb Ukrainians, and aid the millions of displaced.
Malpass hinted that the impacts of the war – such as a spike in food and energy prices – are being analyzed, along with preparation for crisis response that will provide support for developing nations.