WASHINGTON: The United States will provide Ukraine with a new $500 million infusion of aid to help the government in Kyiv continue paying salaries, pensions and providing services, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday.
Yellen detailed the assistance following her meeting Wednesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Finance Minister Sergiy Marchenko, saying it was necessary to help their government continue to function amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
“The needs of Ukraine are urgent, and we plan to deploy this direct aid to Ukraine as soon as possible to be used on most urgent needs,” Yellen said.
“We know this is only the beginning of what Ukraine will need to rebuild. And I’m committed to working with Congress and with our international allies and partners to build on this support in the medium and long term.”
The money follows another $500 million package of support for Ukraine’s economy announced last month, and Shmyhal this week said his government needs $5 billion a month just to continue operations after the invasion devastated the nation’s economy.
Western countries including the United States have stepped up aid to Ukraine in recent days as fighting rages in the country’s east and south, and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have ramped up support as well.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for more weapons, saying Ukraine still did not have enough, despite billions in Western military aid that has forced Russia to re-focus its offensive away from Kyiv and towards the east.
The IMF has warned of economic devastation both in Ukraine and abroad from the war.
The conflict will cause the country’s economy to collapse 35 percent this year, while Russia’s will drop 8.5 percent, and the Washington-based crisis lender also said this week the “seismic” impacts of the war are spreading worldwide, lowering global growth to 3.6 percent, nearly a point lower than first estimated in January.