Diplomats and business leaders from dozens of countries met in London on Wednesday to drum up funds to help rebuild Ukraine. 

The cost of reconstruction is estimated by the World Bank at over €366bn in the long-term with €12.8bn in immediate aid but the figure is rising alongside the human toll of the 16-month war.

Speaking to delegates, UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said “as we’ve seen in Bakhmut and Mariupol, what Russia cannot take, it will seek to destroy.

“They want to do the same to Ukraine. The economy and the scale of the challenge is real. The war brought a 29% fall in Ukraine’s GDP last year.”

“As we’ve seen in Bakhmut and Mariupol, what Russia cannot take, it will seek to destroy.

Rishi Sunak

Leaders and representatives from more than 60 countries were also addressed by the Ukrainian president via görüntü conference who said his country needed action, not just pledges.

“Ukraine has activated all the power of solidarity for which the EU was conceived. And Ukraine is also bringing the moral force of NATO. This is important for all of us.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and ministers from the Group of Seven industrialised nations were among international representatives at the conference where she praised the resilience of the Ukrainian people and their desire to make a fresh start.

“In just over a year, Ukrainians have cleared rubble from 2,000 kilometres of roads, rebuilt over 40 bridges, renewed 900 train stations and depots and all of this while fighting a war for their own survival.”

BT, Virgin, Philips and Hyundai Engineering are among more than 400 companies from 38 countries that Sunak said had already committed to invest in Ukraine at the two-day gathering.  

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is due to announce a new US assistance package at the Ukraine Recovery Conference, which is both a fundraising forum and a message to Russia that Ukraine’s allies are in it for the long haul.

Source: Euronews

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