The World Bank said in a new report that Ukraine’s reconstruction will cost at least $411 billion over the next ten years, a number that will rise as the war drags on.
The report said the $411 billion figure should be seen as a “minimum as needs will continue to rise as long as the war continues.”
World Bank Vice President Anna Bjerde previously estimated the reconstruction would cost between $525 billion-$630 billion, but the report issued Wednesday was more precise and was produced jointly with the US and Ukrainian governments.
After the new report came out, Bjerde said Ukraine’s reconstruction will take “several years” and will require public investments “complemented by significant private investment to increase the available financing for reconstruction.”
American investment firms and banks are looking to cash in on the reconstruction project. Bankers from JP Morgan Chase visited Ukraine in February and signed a memorandum of understanding with President Volodymyr Zelensky and agreed to help raise private capital for a new fund for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
In January, Zelensky addressed the US National Association of State Chambers and said American corporations would find “big business” in rebuilding Ukraine. “Everyone can become a big business by working with Ukraine. In all sectors — from weapons and defense to construction, from communications to agriculture, from transport to IT, from banks to medicine,” he said.
The new estimate from the World Bank comes as there is no sign that the fighting in Ukraine will end anytime soon. China recently launched an initiative to try and foster peace talks between the warring sides, but it’s not yet clear if it will lead to real negotiations.