IMF chief says 2023 aid pledges for Ukraine 'sufficient'

IMF chief says 2023 aid pledges for Ukraine 'sufficient'

IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva: 'The Ukrainian government has done an amazing job in managing the economy'
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva: 'The Ukrainian government has done an amazing job in managing the economy'. Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Source: AFP

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IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday said financial pledges for Ukraine by the United States and Europe should be sufficient to get Kyiv through 2023, assuming the war does not intensify.

"Yes, we would go to 2023 with sufficient financial support for Ukraine," Georgieva told AFP on the sidelines of a conference organised by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

"So when we look into next year, the numbers are significant, but they are not out of context of what has been done up to now," she added, underlining that the outlook remains highly uncertain.

Ukraine's financial situation is calamitous because of Russia's invasion and President Volodymyr Zelensky has appealed to international backers to cover his country's $38-billion budget hole for 2023.

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Western powers insist that keeping the war-ravaged country on its feet is of historic importance, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz calling for "a new Marshall Plan for the 21st century" at a conference on Ukraine earlier this week.

'Incredible resilience'

But questions linger over whether the Ukrainian economy can survive much longer if Kyiv's allies don't move faster.

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Georgieva said the United States and EU have each pledged fresh funds to keep the Ukrainian budget afloat next year that should be enough for Ukraine, though the path of the war was unknown.

In a baseline scenario that she stressed was highly unstable, the IMF has put Ukraine's financial monthly needs for 2023 at three to four billion dollars and possibly five billion dollars if the war's destruction deepens.

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"Where is the money? Well, the EU has committed 18 billion euros ($18 billion). This is a billion and a half a month for next year, the United States has committed $18 billion, 1.5 billion a month," she said.

The IMF chief praised the 'incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people. Here a couple kiss by a rocket crater in a park of central Kyiv earlier this month
The IMF chief praised the 'incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people. Here a couple kiss by a rocket crater in a park of central Kyiv earlier this month. Photo: Dimitar DILKOFF / AFP
Source: AFP

"And of course, at the IMF, we are working towards a programme for Ukraine. So based on the incredible resilience of Ukrainian people, the world has stepped up," she said.

This year there has been $35 billion of international financing pledged, most of which has already been disbursed, Georgieva said.

For critics, any new commitments come with significant question marks. The EU, for example, has yet to fully deliver on the nine billion euros pledged for this year amid squabbling by member states over whether the aid should be in grants or loans.

Aid fatigue is meanwhile rearing its head in Washington where a leading Republican said the United States would no longer write a "blank cheque" to Ukraine after congressional elections on November 8.

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"The Ukrainian government has done an amazing job in managing the economy to a point that some parts of it started growing again," Georgieva said.

Georgieva during an interview with AFP in Brussels on Thursday
Georgieva during an interview with AFP in Brussels on Thursday. Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
Source: AFP

She praised the grit shown by Ukrainians in the war that "has made Ukraine a better country", with deep changes such as accelerated advances in technology.

The Washington-based IMF says the Ukrainian economy will collapse by a staggering 35 percent this year with inflation soaring by 20 percent.

Source: AFP

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