If the war deepens and protracts further, up to 90 per cent of the population of Ukraine could be facing poverty and vulnerability to poverty.
War in Ukraine risks seeing 90 per cent of the country “freefall into poverty” and extreme vulnerability, nearly three weeks since Russia invaded its neighbour, a report by UNDP.
“Government of Ukraine estimates suggest that at least $100 billion worth of infrastructure, buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and other physical assets have been destroyed,” says a UNDP report, The Development Impact Of The War In Ukraine – Initial Projections.
The war has caused 50 per cent of Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely, while the other half is forced to operate well below its capacity. If the war deepens and protracts further, up to 90 per cent of the population of Ukraine could be facing poverty and vulnerability to poverty, the report warns.
This estimation translates into a loss of 18 years of socio-economic achievements in Ukraine and a return to poverty levels last observed in 2004.
UNDP warned that if the conflict could wreck almost two decades of economic progress. In addition to dire development setbacks, the UN agency explained that the environment is expected to suffer, while societal inequalities are likely increase.
Initial estimates are that US$ 250 million per month in funding will be needed to cover partial income losses for 2.6 million people who are expected to fall into poverty.
Providing the most vulnerable with a basic income of $5.50 per day would cost $430 million a month, UNDP said.
Ukraine’s neighbours who have struggled to cope with the more than three million refugees created also need help, the UN agency said.
To that end, UNDP is already working with the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on resilience and development measures for those displaced by the violence, focusing on support to refugees and host communities through income generation and employment.
One in two Ukrainian businesses have shut down completely, while the other half has been forced to operate well below capacity, UNDP reported.
As one of the largest UN agencies on the ground in Ukraine, priorities include immediate crisis response and maintaining core government functions to ensure that public services can be maintained.
In a statement, UNDP noted that staff have remained operational throughout the conflict and that their presence has been bolstered with “targeted” deployments in key areas, such as debris management, damage assessment and emergency livelihood support, including cash-based assistance.
Image: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNICEF