World Bank approves US$300 mln loan to Ukraine to help protect low-income families / REUTERS

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a loan to Ukraine in the amount of US$300 million for the Second Additional Financing for COVID-19 Response under the Social Safety Nets Modernization Project.

"This additional financing will help strengthen Ukraine's Guaranteed Minimum Income Program (GMI) to prevent around 1 million Ukrainians from falling into poverty due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the World Bank said in a press release on December 11, 2020.

Read alsoEU allocates EUR 600 mln in macro-financial assistance to UkraineIt is the second Additional Financing under this Project, after US$150 million were approved on April 30, 2020, it said.

World Bank projections show that, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, poverty in Ukraine could increase by 4%, reaching around 23% by the end of 2020. The new funds will help finance Ukraine's COVID-19 social protection emergency response by introducing fast cash transfers to individuals and households who have lost their jobs or income sources because of the pandemic. Poor households will receive benefits through the country's GMI Program.

What is more, the loan also supports scaling up Ukraine's social protection over the next years. According to World Bank estimates, 60% of the Ukrainians who may fall into poverty because of the COVID-19 outbreak do not currently benefit from any existing social protection program.

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