More Help on More Shoulders
The extent of Ukraine's need for assistance grows with each month of war, and there is no end in sight. This is one reason why private companies hesitate to be part of the relief efforts. A conference in London aims to change that.
Calculating the Cost of War
The World Bank has calculated the extent of war damages in Ukraine, estimating it at around 376 billion euros. This elusive number continues to increase with each attack.
However, companies are hesitant to get involved, considering Ukraine is a war zone.
The German Ministry of Economic Affairs aims to promote the involvement of companies through Hermes guarantees, which provide coverage for lost investments. The United States has also announced similar assistance.
How Loans Can Help
Additionally, the conference will focus on offering favorable loans to Ukrainian companies. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is already active in this area.
Minister Svenja Schulze recently visited an agricultural enterprise near Lviv and cited an example of how assistance could be provided. Due to the challenges of transporting agricultural goods during the war, farmers need larger storage facilities. To achieve this, farmers have to take out loans, which have become "extremely expensive" due to the war. Schulze stated, "We are helping them get the money, obtain loans."
Addressing Corruption and Transparency
Ensuring that the aid reaches those who truly need it is a major challenge due to widespread corruption in Ukraine.
Projects will be documented transparently for governments, companies, and relief organizations. A digital platform will be presented at the conference to facilitate this. Schulze stated, "All projects will be centrally collected on the platform."
Support for Ukrainian authorities in combating corruption is also provided.
Reform Needs on Multiple Levels
Orysia Lutsevych, head of the Ukraine Forum at the think tank Chatham House, identifies other problems that need to be addressed.
"We see the dysfunctionality of Ukraine, for example, in issues of legal security and the prevalence of monopolies," she says. These structures need to be modernized.
Hosts Rely on Flexibility
British Foreign Minister Cleverly expressed confidence before the conference, citing Ukraine's proven ability to restructure its army.
Now the focus is on justice and administration. Investors could exert pressure to expedite the process.