The World Bank released a report this weekend that stated Ukraine could lose almost half of its economy this year as a result of Russia’s invasion and the ongoing war between the two nations.
The bank estimated that the “country’s GDP could decline by 45.1% this year, although the magnitude of the contraction will depend on the duration and intensity of the war.”
Since Russia invaded, Ukraine’s infrastructure has endured excessive amounts of damage and destruction. Bridges, neighborhoods, and ports have been hit with multiple blockades, and farmland throughout the nation has become the setting for multiple battles.
Before this conflict, Ukraine was a major exporter of wheat and sunflower oil, however, the growth of both has been interrupted by fighting. Farmers are also finding it difficult to access machinery and other essential products needed for farming that would typically arrive through Black Sea ports.
“The magnitude of the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the war is staggering. The Russian invasion is delivering a massive blow to Ukraine’s economy and it has inflicted enormous damage to infrastructure,” Anna Bjerde, the World Bank’s vice president for the Europe and Central Asia region, said in a statement.
“Ukraine needs massive financial support immediately as it struggles to keep its economy going and the government running to support Ukrainian citizens who are suffering and coping with an extreme situation.”
Ukraine Finance Minister Serhii Marchenko has stated that “the government is still functioning, despite the war.”
“About a third of the country’s economy is no longer functioning as the atrocities continue and millions of people flee as refugees into neighboring countries,” he explained.
Marchenko added that as of late March, nearly 3 million Ukranians have lost their jobs; preliminary reports show the nation’s economy has already lost approximately $565 billion.
To keep the economy afloat, the government has “leaned on war bonds, as well as less traditional avenues, such as fundraising in cryptocurrencies and the sale of non-fungible tokens (NFTs),” according to Marchenko.
“I think that the true figures of total economic loss would be clear only after the war,” he said.
“The [best] scenario is to end the war as quickly as possible.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.