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WASHINGTON, USA – The World Bank said on Wednesday, April 12, it would finance $200 million to help fix Ukraine’s energy and heating infrastructure, with partners and others to provide another $300 million as the project expands.
The $200-million grant will be used to make emergency repairs to Ukraine’s transition transformers, mobile heat boilers, and other emergency critical equipment, the World Bank said in a statement.
The World Bank has mobilized more than $23 billion in emergency financing for Ukraine, including commitments and pledges from donors. More than $20 billion of this has been disbursed through several projects, it said.
Energy infrastructure has suffered $11 billion in damage over the last year and is one of the most critical areas where Ukraine needs urgent support, said Anna Bjerde, World Bank’s managing director of operations, on Wednesday.
During the fall and winter months, more than half of Ukraine’s power infrastructure was damaged, resulting in countrywide power outages that contributed to food, heating, and water shortages, the World Bank said.
Most power plants have since connected back to the grid. However, significant damage to transmission substations still constrain their output, leading to scheduled load shedding and outages in most regions, the World Bank added.
Ukraine said on Monday, April 10, it has resumed electricity exports to Europe after they were suspended in October when Russia began launching regular missile and drone attacks at critical energy infrastructure.
The strikes caused sweeping power outages for civilians and industries, forcing workers to work overtime to repair the grid.
The International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor visited Ukraine in February to investigate Russia’s air strikes on the power grid which Kyiv says are aimed at intimidating ordinary civilians.
Moscow, which launched its invasion in February 2022 and called it a “special military operation,” said the attacks were aimed at weakening Ukraine’s military. – Rappler.com