The World Bank has approved the allocation of an additional $150 million to Ukraine to help protect the poorest and most vulnerable, APA reports citing Ukrinform.
The World Bank announced this in a press release of April 30.
"The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today $150 million in Additional Financing for the Social Safety Nets Modernization Project, to enhance and improve social assistance for low-income families in Ukraine," the statement reads.
A total of $50 million of this additional financing will be used as part of Ukraine’s emergency response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“Thousands of Ukrainian families are already facing difficulty paying for housing and utility services because people are losing their incomes. Pensioners can’t afford to buy even basic medicines and food due to rising prices. It is important to help those people by making social payments swifter and more targeted,” said Alex Kremer, World Bank Acting Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. “The additional financing will also support start-up grants for small businesses, known in Ukraine as the ‘Hand of Help’, which will support the poor in learning new skills, finding a job, or opening a business”.
“Hand of Help” is an initiative developed by the World Bank and Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy. During 2017-2018, under the ongoing Social Safety Nets Modernization Project, micro financing was provided to support people who were internally displaced as a result of the conflict in Donbas, as well as the poorest among the population. Thanks to the project, 230 people have started new businesses in the Kharkiv, Poltava, and Lviv regions, and in some territorial communities in Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, and Donetsk.