G7 countries to provide $19.8 billion in aid to Ukraine
The major Group of Seven economies agreed on Friday to provide $19.8 billion in economic aid to Ukraine to ensure its finances do not hamper its ability to defend against the Russian invasion.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told reporters that $9.5 billion of the total amount was raised during the G-7 finance ministers’ meetings in Koenigswinter, Germany, this week.
“We agreed that Ukraine’s financial situation should have no bearing on Ukraine’s ability to successfully defend itself,” he said. “We must do everything we can to end this war.”
The invasion of Russia touched on nearly every topic at finance ministers’ meetings this week, from the need to reduce dependence on Russian energy to reforming relations between the countries to maintain economic stability. .
“Russia’s war of aggression is causing global economic disruption, affecting the security of global energy supplies, food production and exports of food and agricultural products, and the functioning of global supply chains in general” , says a statement from the G-7.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other leaders this week spoke of the need for allies to muster enough additional aid to help Ukraine “get through” the Russian invasion.
“We are all committed to doing what is necessary to fill the void,” Yellen said on Thursday as ministers wrapped up their first of two days of talks. “We will gather the resources they need.”
The latest World Economic Outlook from the International Monetary Fund indicates that the Ukrainian economy is expected to contract by 35% this year and next.
Finance ministers from the G-7 – which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – have also been grappling with worsening inflation , food security and other economic issues during their talks.
A statement marking the end of their meetings addressed commitments to tackle over-indebtedness in low-income countries, trying to mitigate the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and stave off inflation rates “that have reached levels not seen for decades”.
As finance ministers met in Germany, the United States overwhelmingly approved its own injection of $40 billion in military and economic aid to Ukraine and its allies. Part of the US funding was included in the G-7 package for Ukraine.
The UK has committed $50 million to Ukraine from the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said.
“This is in addition to the $950 million in loan guarantees that the UK has already committed to significantly increase World Bank lending to the Ukrainian government to help meet urgent budgetary needs,” according to a press release. press from Sunak’s office.
This week has been a fundraiser for Ukraine and those affected by war.
The Treasury and several global development banks announced on Wednesday that they would spend tens of billions to work “quickly to leverage their funding, their political commitment, their technical assistance” to prevent war-induced famine, rising food prices and weather damage to crops.
This money will be spent to support farmers, address the fertilizer supply crisis and develop land for food production, among other things.
Other areas of concern for G-7 financial leaders included the need for countries to increase oversight and regulation of cryptocurrency and other digital assets and streamline responses to the pandemic.
Moulson reported from Berlin.