Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky opened up the Davos conference in Switzerland with a speech and requested $5 billion a month from the global conference immediately to help them win their fight with Russia.
President Joe Biden signed a bill last week giving Ukraine $40 billion in U.S. support last week. In the three-day summit, Zelensky spoke from Kyiv and told the 1,000 CEOs and government officials in attendance that he needs $5 billion to stop a full-blown economic collapse in his country.
“The amount of work is enormous,” he said. “We have more than a half a trillion dollars in losses, and tens of thousands of facilities destroyed. We need to rebuild entire cities and industries.”
Zelensky cast the opportunity to give money to the country as lucrative for Western nations and called it a “patronage” for investors. The system is meant to bring the world’s best and brightest to take part in the reconstruction project, which is the biggest reconstruction since WWII.
“We face multiple challenges,” he said. “Parallel to that, our national economy has to remain operative.”
The World Bank announced in April that Ukraine’s GDP is set to fall by 45% and the Center for Economic Policy Research in London says that it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild the country.
It’s estimated that 10% of Ukrainian businesses left the country after Russia launched their invasion on February 24. Andrii Dligach, founder of the Center for Economic Recovery in Kyiv told Fortune that “they probably will not come back in the near future. It is a major loss.”
Steel production has fallen by about 16 million tons this year and Ukraine has lost about 68% of it’s farm able land.
Ukraine’s Economic Minister Yulia Svyrydenko pointed out that losing their ability to export has cost the country dearly.
“We are under attack every day,” she said. “But we have not given up.”
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