The World Bank relocates part of its Ukrainian staff, operations continue

The World Bank announced on Monday that it was temporarily relocating some of its staff from Ukraine and had suspended missions to the country due to border tensions with Russia, but its financing operations in Ukraine would continue. The World Bank said in an internal memo seen by Reuters that it was closely monitoring the situation on the border, where Russia has massed a large military force within striking distance of Ukraine.

“The World Bank Group’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our staff and their families. In line with our evacuation policy, the temporary relocation of staff is underway and enhanced security measures are in place” , says the memo. The memo did not provide details on where or how many staff members were being relocated.

A World Bank Group spokesperson said the development lender’s operations in Ukraine would continue, adding, “To this end, staff will continue to work on our program from Ukraine and other locations. The US State Department said on Saturday it was ordering most staff at its embassy in Kyiv to immediately leave Ukraine due to the threat of a Russian invasion. Some embassy staff will work from the city of Lviv in western Ukraine, US officials said.

International Monetary Fund maintains $5 billion loan program 11-22 for Ukraine. An IMF spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund could not immediately be reached to comment on the lender’s staffing in the country. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the World Bank has provided nearly $1.3 billion in financing to Ukraine.

It signed two loan deals for Ukraine worth a combined $441 million in September, with the funds aimed at improving the integration of its power grids with Europe and boosting its education sector. The World Bank approved a $150 million emergency loan for the COVID-19 pandemic response and vaccination project in December, along with a second loan of €300 million ($340 million ) for development policy in-ukraine-amid-covid-19-pandemic. An initial loan of $350 million for Ukraine’s development policy, aimed at protecting the most vulnerable from the pandemic and fostering economic recovery, was approved in June 2020.

Russia hinted on Monday that it was ready to continue talking to the West to try to defuse the security crisis, while a Ukrainian official said Kiev was ready to make concessions to Moscow.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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