Renewing Ukraine: Analyzing RDNA3’s Roadmap, France’s Strategic Support and the Arduous Journey towards Reconstruction and Renewal

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On February 24, 2022, a significant event unfolded as the Russian Federation launched an invasion into Ukraine. This event marked the beginning of a conflict with far-reaching consequences that will echo through generations. Nearly two years into this devastating war, a comprehensive analysis has been conducted to assess the extensive damages and outline the recovery and reconstruction needs for Ukraine. This assessment, known as the third Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3), represents a collaborative effort by the World Bank, the Government of Ukraine, the European Commission, and the United Nations, with additional support from various partners.

As we delve into the specifics of the RDNA3, it becomes apparent that the impact of the war extends far beyond the physical and financial damages, profoundly affecting the lives of Ukrainian citizens. This assessment is built upon the foundation of its predecessors, RDNA1 and RDNA2, which analyzed the damages incurred during the initial 3 and 12 months of the conflict, respectively.

As of December 31, 2023, RDNA3 presents a stark picture of the war’s ramifications. Direct damage to the country has soared to nearly US$152 billion, with key sectors like housing, transport, commerce and industry, agriculture, and energy bearing the brunt of the devastation. The geographical focus of this damage is primarily in the Donetska, Kharkivska, Luhanska, Zaporizka, Khersonska, and Kyivska oblasts. Moreover, the economic toll of the conflict, encompassing disruptions in economic flows, production hindrances, and war-associated costs like debris management, has resulted in an economic loss exceeding US$499 billion.

Looking ahead, RDNA3 estimates the recovery and reconstruction needs of Ukraine at close to US$486 billion over an ambitious ten-year timeframe. These needs encompass immediate recovery efforts and medium-term reconstruction initiatives aimed at rebuilding a modern, low-carbon, and climate-resilient infrastructure. Importantly, the assessment accounts for financial contributions already made through the Ukraine state budget and international aid, focusing on the remaining financial requirements.

A critical finding of the RDNA3 is the identification of a US$9.5 billion financing gap that Ukraine faces in addressing its priority recovery and reconstruction projects for 2024. Ukrainian ministries have earmarked US$15 billion for 2024, targeting sectors such as industry and services, housing and utilities, energy, social infrastructure, and transport, along with cross-sectoral priorities. Despite significant public and state-owned investments, which are anticipated to catalyze substantial private sector contributions, a sizable portion of the financing needs has been met through state and donor funds.

The RDNA3 report emphasizes the necessity for Ukrainian authorities and international partners to enhance their capacity for managing the influx of funding, especially in the challenging current context. This capacity building aligns with the strategic vision of the Government’s Ukraine Plan and the European Union (EU) Ukraine Facility. Both initiatives are in the pipeline, aiming to guide the country’s long-term development through reforms and investments that bolster national and subnational capacities, align investment priorities, and secure financing.

The global experience underscores the importance of a phased and strategically prioritized approach to recovery, reconstruction, and human capital development. This approach is vital for Ukraine to effectively absorb and utilize the available funds, continuously improve administrative systems and processes, and boost institutional and technical capabilities for efficient investment project management.

The Ongoing Impact of War: A Comprehensive Analysis of Ukraine’s Struggle and Path to Recovery

Since the onset of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the war has inflicted severe consequences on the nation and its populace. This article delves into the multifaceted impacts of this ongoing conflict, exploring the humanitarian, economic, and infrastructural devastations alongside Ukraine’s resilient steps toward recovery and modernization.

Humanitarian Crisis and Population Displacement

As of December 2023, the war has led to a staggering displacement crisis, with an estimated 5.9 million refugees scattered across Europe and 3.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Ukraine as of October 2023. The conflict has exacted a grim toll on civilian life, with over 10,000 fatalities reported, alongside thousands injured and millions losing their homes. The war has disproportionately affected vulnerable groups, including women, children, the elderly, and IDPs, leading to increased poverty and food insecurity. A World Bank phone survey in November 2023 indicated that 9% of households experienced food shortages within a 30-day period.

Economic and Infrastructural Devastation

Ukraine’s economic landscape has been severely marred by the conflict, with the 2023 gross domestic product (GDP) plunging to 74% of its 2021 level in real terms. The initial months of the war saw widespread destruction, with direct damages estimated at US$97 billion. As the conflict evolved, government efforts curtailed the advance of Russian forces, yet attacks on critical infrastructure, particularly in late 2022, escalated energy sector damages to US$135 billion by February 2023.

The year 2023 witnessed continued assaults on infrastructure, notably the Kakhovka Dam and hydropower plant (HPP) destruction in June 2023, causing extensive environmental damage and amplifying existing humanitarian challenges. Ports in the Odeska and Mykolaivska regions and along the Danube River faced significant assaults, further compounded by cyberattacks and intensified drone and air strikes.

Resilience and Recovery Efforts

Despite the adversity, the Ukrainian government has embarked on early recovery and restoration initiatives, supported by international partners. In 2023, approximately US$7.2 billion was allocated to finance urgent recovery projects across various sectors. Remarkable progress was made in restoring housing, educational and medical facilities, and critical infrastructure. Comprehensive reforms and institutional arrangements have been introduced to bolster planning and execution of recovery and reconstruction endeavors.

The Third Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3)

The RDNA3, developed collaboratively by the World Bank, the Ukrainian government, the European Commission, and the United Nations, offers a detailed evaluation of the war’s impacts as of December 31, 2023. Building on its predecessors, RDNA3 provides an in-depth analysis of physical damages, indirect losses, and financial requisites for the nation’s recuperation and rebuilding. Additionally, it outlines short-term priorities necessitating funding in 2024, as identified by Ukrainian ministries.

Legal and Political Dimensions

The ongoing conflict and the associated recovery efforts have profound legal and political implications. The war has necessitated extensive international cooperation, leading to significant geopolitical shifts and the redefinition of alliances and diplomatic strategies. Ukraine’s accelerated path towards European Union integration signifies a critical pivot in its foreign policy and geopolitical alignment.

Ukraine’s Ongoing Recovery: Analyzing RDNA3’s Insights into Post-War Reconstruction

In the aftermath of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) reports have become pivotal in understanding the country’s extensive recovery and reconstruction needs. RDNA3, the latest assessment, integrates updated data and methodologies to provide a comprehensive view of the challenges and priorities facing Ukraine. This article delves into RDNA3’s key findings, limitations, and implications for the country’s recovery efforts.

RDNA3, like its predecessors, adopts a meticulous approach to data integration and analysis. It incorporates the most recent data and estimations while ensuring no double-counting of damages and losses. Moreover, RDNA3 deducts already met recovery and reconstruction needs, offering a nuanced perspective on the remaining challenges.

A critical aspect of RDNA3 is its acknowledgment of inherent data limitations and the assumptions made due to the ongoing conflict. These limitations underscore the complexity of assessing post-war damages accurately. RDNA3 also presents sector-level needs and priorities, highlighting the necessity for strategic prioritization across sectors to optimize resource allocation.

To contextualize RDNA3’s insights, it’s essential to revisit the findings of RDNA1 and RDNA2. RDNA1, covering the period between February 24 and June 1, 2022, estimated direct damage at US$97.4 billion, with total recovery and reconstruction needs reaching US$348.5 billion over a decade. RDNA2, spanning from February 24, 2022, to February 24, 2023, indicated an increase in direct damage to US$134.7 billion and total needs escalating to US$410.6 billion over the same timeframe.

The incremental rise in damages and needs from RDNA1 to RDNA2 reflects the prolonged impact of the conflict on Ukraine’s infrastructure, economy, and social fabric. Notably, RDNA2 allocated US$14 billion to address implementation priorities in 2023, highlighting the urgency of targeted interventions.

RDNA3 introduces key definitions that elucidate the assessment’s framework. Damage is defined as the direct costs of destroyed or damaged assets and infrastructure, evaluated based on pre-invasion replacement prices. Loss encompasses changes in economic flows resulting from the war, including disrupted services, increased operating costs, and revenue losses for authorities and the private sector. Needs encompass repair, restoration, and reconstruction costs, incorporating a build-back-better approach with enhancements for energy efficiency, modernization, and sustainability standards.

The incorporation of these definitions underscores RDNA3’s comprehensive approach to assessing post-war challenges. By considering market prices as of December 31, 2023, RDNA3 provides a current snapshot of Ukraine’s recovery needs, accounting for inflation, surge pricing, and other economic factors.

Figure 1. Spatial evolution of the war until December 31, 2023, and Ukraine RDNAs

Source: Assessment team. Note: Map is based on Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED), considering average monthly conflict events. For ACLED, see Clionadh Raleigh et al., “Introducing ACLED: Armed Conflict Location and Event Data,” Journal of Peace Research 47, no. 5 (2010): 651–60, Link. Conflict events includes battles and explosions/remote violence as classified per ACLED methodology. RDNA = rapid damage and needs assessment.

Analyzing the Extensive Damages and Recovery Needs

The RDNA3 report outlines the extensive damages suffered by Ukraine, categorizing them into various sectors based on the financial impact:

  • Housing Sector: The most heavily impacted sector, with damages totaling almost US$56 billion, accounting for 37 percent of the total damage. This includes destruction and damage to residential buildings, displacing a significant portion of the population and creating a pressing need for shelter and housing solutions.
  • Transport Infrastructure: Suffered losses of almost US$34 billion, representing 22 percent of the total damage. This includes damage to motorways, highways, bridges, railways, and catenary lines, severely disrupting transportation networks and hindering mobility and logistics operations.
  • Commerce and Industry: Experienced damages amounting to almost US$16 billion, constituting 10 percent of the total damage. This sector encompasses damage to commercial and industrial facilities, impacting production capacities, supply chains, and economic activities.
  • Energy Sector: Affected by losses of almost US$11 billion, representing 7 percent of the total damage. Damage to energy infrastructure, including power plants, transmission lines, and distribution networks, has resulted in widespread power outages and challenges in meeting energy demands.
  • Agricultural Sector: Incurred damages of US$10 billion, also accounting for 7 percent of the total damage. Damage to agricultural land, crops, and livestock has disrupted food production and agricultural activities, exacerbating food security concerns.

Regional Impact

The RDNA3 report highlights the regional disparities in terms of damage distribution, with the following oblasts bearing the brunt of the destruction:

  • Donetska Oblast: Significantly affected, with extensive damage to infrastructure and communities, particularly in conflict-affected areas.
  • Kharkivska Oblast: Experienced substantial damage to transportation networks, industrial facilities, and residential areas, requiring immediate attention for reconstruction efforts.
  • Luhanska Oblast: Like Donetska Oblast, Luhanska has faced severe damage across various sectors, necessitating comprehensive recovery measures.
  • Zaporizka Oblast: Impacted by damage to critical infrastructure, including transport routes and energy facilities, affecting regional connectivity and economic activities.
  • Khersonska Oblast: Witnessed damage to infrastructure and agricultural lands, affecting both urban and rural areas and necessitating rehabilitation efforts.
  • Kyivska Oblast: Despite being the capital region, Kyivska has not been immune to damage, particularly in its outskirts and surrounding areas, requiring targeted reconstruction initiatives.

Recovery and Reconstruction Needs

The extensive damages outlined in the RDNA3 report underscore the urgent need for substantial investments and coordinated efforts to facilitate recovery and reconstruction in Ukraine. Key areas that require immediate attention and resource allocation include:

  • Housing Reconstruction: Addressing the acute housing shortage and providing adequate shelter for displaced populations through the construction and rehabilitation of residential buildings and infrastructure.
  • Transport Infrastructure Restoration: Rehabilitating damaged roads, bridges, railways, and transportation networks to restore connectivity, facilitate mobility, and support economic recovery.
  • Industrial Revitalization: Rebuilding damaged industrial facilities, promoting investment in key industries, and restoring production capacities to stimulate economic growth and employment opportunities.
  • Energy Sector Rehabilitation: Repairing and upgrading energy infrastructure, enhancing energy security, and diversifying energy sources to meet the country’s energy needs and mitigate vulnerabilities.
  • Agricultural Recovery: Supporting farmers, restoring agricultural lands, promoting sustainable practices, and ensuring food security to revive the agricultural sector and bolster rural livelihoods.
  • Social Welfare and Services: Investing in social welfare programs, healthcare facilities, education, and essential services to support communities, address humanitarian needs, and foster social stability and resilience.

Assessing the Evolving Damage and Recovery Challenges in Ukraine

The third Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA3) for Ukraine has provided crucial insights into the ongoing impacts of the conflict, revealing both the persistent challenges and emerging issues in the country’s recovery and reconstruction efforts. While the direct damage has not substantially escalated since the second assessment, remaining at US$135 billion (€126 billion), the evolving nature of the conflict and its repercussions continue to pose immense challenges for Ukraine across various sectors.

Continued Impact on Housing and Displacement

Despite limited shifts in the front line of war, the RDNA3 highlights that 10 percent of Ukraine’s total housing stock has been either damaged or destroyed. This has resulted in millions of people losing their homes and facing the urgent need to secure shelter from a dwindling pool of available residences. The persistent housing crisis underscores the pressing humanitarian needs and the long-term challenges of resettlement and reconstruction.

Emerging Challenges in Multiple Sectors

The RDNA3 report also identifies a stark increase in damage across several sectors beyond infrastructure and housing. Key sectors experiencing heightened damage include:

  • Environment, Natural Resources, and Forestry: The conflict has had profound impacts on environmental sustainability, natural habitats, and forestry resources, necessitating strategies for environmental conservation and rehabilitation.
  • Irrigation and Water Resource Management: Disruption to irrigation systems and water resource management infrastructure has compounded challenges in agricultural production and water security, requiring concerted efforts for restoration.
  • Water Supply and Sanitation: Damage to water supply and sanitation facilities has exacerbated health risks and sanitation concerns, highlighting the importance of prioritizing clean water access and sanitation services.
  • Municipal Services: The functioning of essential municipal services, such as waste management, public transportation, and utilities, has been severely affected, posing challenges to urban resilience and service delivery.
  • Emergency Response and Civil Protection: The escalation of conflict and humanitarian emergencies has strained emergency response and civil protection capacities, necessitating enhanced preparedness, coordination, and resource allocation.
  • Commerce and Industry: Ongoing disruptions to commercial and industrial activities have hampered economic recovery and livelihood opportunities, emphasizing the need for revitalizing key sectors and promoting economic stability.
  • Culture and Tourism: Attacks on cultural heritage sites and tourism infrastructure have inflicted significant damage to cultural assets and tourism revenues, highlighting the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage and promoting sustainable tourism practices.

Impact of Specific Events on Damage Trends

The RDNA3 report notes specific events that have contributed to shifts in damage trends:

  • Destruction of Kakhovka Dam and HPP (June 2023): This event led to a threefold increase in damage to the aquaculture and fishery industries, highlighting the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the interconnectedness of sectors in the face of major disruptions.
  • Attacks on Cultural Heritage Sites: Increased attacks on cultural heritage sites, particularly in areas protected under the World Heritage Convention such as Lviv and Odesa cities, have resulted in an almost 33 percent increase in damage in the culture sector, underscoring the need for cultural preservation and protection measures.

Figure 2. Extent of damage by region as of February 2023 (left) and December 31, 2023 (right)

Source: Assessment team. Note: The maps draw on damage data as collected and assessed under the RDNA2 (left) and RDNA3 (right) respectively. There were data limitations for certain regions.

Evaluating the Extensive Recovery and Reconstruction Needs in Post-Conflict Ukraine

The end-December 2023 assessment of recovery and reconstruction needs in Ukraine presents a stark picture of the immense challenges facing the country as it strives to rebuild and recover from the devastating impacts of the prolonged conflict. The estimated needs, totaling US$486 billion (€440 billion), reflect the extensive geographical and urban areas affected by the war over an extended period, necessitating comprehensive measures across multiple sectors.

Magnitude of Recovery Needs

The estimated recovery and reconstruction needs, amounting to nearly 2.8 times the nominal GDP of Ukraine for 2023, underscore the scale and complexity of the challenges ahead. These needs encompass a range of priorities and initiatives aimed at transitioning towards lower energy intensity, enhancing resilience, adopting modern standards, and addressing the surge pricing commonly associated with large-scale spatial reconstruction efforts. Global inflationary pressures and higher insurance premiums further contribute to the substantial financial requirements over a projected 10-year period.

Source: Assessment team. Note: Needs relate to total estimated needs covering the period 2024–2033. Where data was available, needs met were deducted.

Sectoral Allocation of Needs

The allocation of recovery needs across sectors highlights the diverse range of challenges and priorities:

  • Housing: With needs exceeding US$80 billion (17 percent of the total), addressing housing shortages, rebuilding damaged residences, and ensuring adequate shelter for displaced populations are critical priorities in the reconstruction agenda.
  • Transport: Requiring almost US$74 billion (15 percent), the transport sector’s needs encompass the restoration and modernization of damaged infrastructure, including roads, bridges, railways, and transportation networks, to facilitate mobility, trade, and economic recovery.
  • Commerce and Industry: With an allocation of US$67.5 billion (14 percent), revitalizing commercial and industrial sectors, restoring production capacities, and promoting investment are essential for economic revitalization and employment generation.
  • Agriculture: Allocated US$56 billion (12 percent), the agricultural sector’s needs focus on restoring agricultural lands, supporting farmers, promoting sustainable practices, and ensuring food security to revive agricultural activities and rural livelihoods.
  • Energy: Requiring US$47 billion (10 percent), the energy sector’s needs include repairing and upgrading energy infrastructure, enhancing energy security, and transitioning towards more sustainable and efficient energy systems.
  • Social Protection and Livelihoods: With an allocation of US$44 billion (9 percent), addressing social welfare, livelihood support, and ensuring the protection of vulnerable populations are integral to fostering social stability and resilience.
  • Explosive Hazard Management: Allocated almost US$35 billion (7 percent), managing explosive hazards and addressing the aftermath of conflict-related hazards are crucial for ensuring safety and security in post-conflict environments.

Regional Focus and Net Change in Needs

Regions experiencing the greatest net change in recovery needs since February 2023 include Kyivska, Dnipropetrovska, Donetska, Khersonska, Kharkivska, Zaporizka, and Odeska. These regions require targeted interventions and investments to address evolving needs, prioritize reconstruction efforts, and support local communities in their recovery journey.

Table 1. Total damage, loss, and needs by sector (US$ billion)

SectorDamageLossNeeds
Social sectors
Housing55.917.480.3
Education and science5.66.913.9
Health1.417.814.2
Social protection and livelihoodsa0.29.5a44.5
Culture and tourism3.519.68.9
Infrastructure sectors
Energy and extractives10.654.047.1
Transport33.640.773.7
Telecommunications and digital2.12.34.7
Water supply and sanitation4.011.611.1
Municipal services4.96.811.4
Productive sectors
Agriculture10.369.856.1
Commerce and industry15.6173.267.5
Irrigation and water resource management0.70.710.7
Finance and banking0.05.72.3
Cross-cutting sectors
Environment, natural resource management, and forestry3.326.52.3
Emergency response and civil protection0.40.52.3
Justice and public administration0.31.70.7
Explosive hazard management34.634.6
Total152.5499.3486.2
Source: Assessment team. Note: – = not relevant. Damage covers 22 months of war between February 24, 2022, and December 31, 2023; loss covers a total of 40 months, which includes 22 months between February 24, 2022, and December 31, 2023, and an additional 18 months through June 30, 2025; needs cover the period 2024–2033. a. Under social protection, household income loss valued at US$60 billion is not included to avoid potential double- counting in relation to other sectors.

Table 2. RDNA3 Damage, loss, and needs by oblast (US$ billion)

OblastDamageLossNeeds
Frontline regions, subtotal116.0157.6250.5
Donetska38.739.073.9
Zaporizka13.530.433.6
Luhanska17.819.139.0
Mykolaivska5.611.114.2
Kharkivska27.832.354.9
Khersonska12.625.735.0
Support regions, subtotal5.381.336.3
Vinnytska0.29.34.7
Dnipropetrovska2.939.316.4
Kirovohradska0.25.72.7
Odeska1.315.27.2
Poltavska0.812.05.3
Backline regions, subtotal1.247.519.1
Volynska0.14.61.7
Zakarpatska0.32.91.4
Ivano-Frankivska0.15.61.9
Lvivska0.311.33.3
Rivnenska0.13.51.6
Ternopilska0.03.91.7
Khmelnytska0.26.93.6
Chernivetska0.01.60.7
Cherkaska0.27.23.2
Regions where government has regained control, subtotal22.9135.780.8
Kyiv City2.227.48.2
Zhytomyrska1.16.24.7
Kyivska11.282.742.5
Sumska3.08.810.4
Chernihivska5.510.615.0
Not specified—nationwide, subtotal7.177.299.5
Source: Assessment team. Note: Damage covers 22 months of war between February 24, 2022, and December 31, 2023; loss covers a total of 40 months, which includes 22 months between February 24, 2022, and December 31, 2023, and an additional 18 months through June 30, 2025; needs cover the period 2024–2033. The regions follow categorization as presented by the GoU at the July 2022 Lugano conference, with some updates. As of December 2023, there were hostilities in Mykolaivska, even though most clashes had moved to the Khersonska region.

Table 3. RDNA1, RDNA2, and RDNA3 damage, loss, needs by sector (US$ billion)

SectorDamageLossNeeds
RDNA 3RDNA 2RDNA1RDNA 3RDNA 2RDNA1RDNA 3RDNA 2RDNA1
Social sectors
Housing55.950.439.217.417.213.380.368.669.0
Education5.64.43.46.90.80.513.910.79.2
Health1.42.51.417.816.56.414.216.415.1
Social protection0.20.20.29.44.24.544.541.820.6
Culture and tourism3.52.61.119.615.219.38.96.95.2
Infrastructure sectors
Energy and extractives10.610.63.154.027.212.047.147.010.7
Transport33.635.729.940.731.626.173.792.173.8
Telecommunications and digital  2.1  1.6  0.7  2.3  1.6  0.6  4.7  4.5  3.3
Water supply and sanitation  4.0  2.2  1.3  11.6  7.5  6.8  11.1  7.1  5.4
Municipal services4.92.42.36.83.04.311.45.75.7
Productive sectors
Agriculture10.38.72.269.831.528.356.129.718.7
Commerce and industry15.610.99.7173.285.847.567.523.220.8
Irrigation and water resource management  0.7  0.4  0.2  0.7  0.3  0.1  10.7  8.9  7.5
Finance and banking0.00.00.05.76.88.12.36.88.0
Cross cutting sectors
Environment, natural resources, forestry  3.3  1.5  2.5  6.5  0.5  0.7  2.3  1.5  1.2
Emergency response and civil protection  0.4  0.2  0.1  0.5  0.5  0.2  2.3  1.5  0.7
Justice and public administration  0.3  0.3  0.1  1.7  1.4  0.0  0.7  0.6  0.2
Management of explosive hazards  –  –  –  34.6  37.6  73.2  34.6  37.6  73.2
Total152.5134.797.4499.3289.1252.0486.2410.6348.5
Source: Assessment team. Data per RDNA1, RDNA2 and RDNA3.

Progress in Recovery Efforts: Meeting Urgent Needs in Post-Conflict Ukraine

The Government of Ukraine (GoU), supported by its partners, has made significant strides in meeting recovery and reconstruction needs in the aftermath of the conflict, resulting in notable progress across key sectors. These achievements, which have already been deducted from current needs, reflect concerted efforts and targeted interventions aimed at addressing urgent challenges and restoring essential services and infrastructure.

Housing Sector Recovery

In 2023, the GoU disbursed US$1 billion from state budget and donor funds towards housing sector recovery, primarily focusing on the repair and reconstruction of damaged assets. This investment has played a crucial role in addressing housing shortages, providing shelter for displaced populations, and initiating the process of rebuilding communities devastated by the conflict.

Education Sector Rehabilitation

The education sector has witnessed significant improvements, with the rebuilding of 500 educational institutions and an increase in the share of educational institutions with shelters from 68 percent to 80 percent since January 2023. These efforts have enhanced access to education, created safer learning environments, and supported the resumption of educational activities for children and youth affected by the conflict.

Transport Infrastructure Restoration

Basic road and rail connectivity have been restored in areas where the GoU regained control, with a focus on Kharkivska, Chernihivska, Kyivska, and Sumska oblasts. Over 2,000 km of emergency road repairs have been completed, 115 road bridges replaced with temporary structures, and more than 25 km of railways lines and 46 rail bridges repaired or rebuilt. These initiatives have improved transportation networks, facilitated movement of goods and people, and enhanced connectivity within the country.

Infrastructure and Environmental Rehabilitation

Efforts in infrastructure and environmental sectors have also contributed to reducing current needs. The repair of the Shandor gate of the Kazarovytska Dam has bolstered water management and environmental sustainability, while the operationalization of the Slovyansk water monitoring laboratory in Donetska oblast has strengthened irrigation sector capabilities and reduced immediate requirements in this area.

Recovery and Reconstruction Principles and Priorities for 2024 Financing

In response to the complex and extensive nature of the recovery needs, the Government of Ukraine (GoU) has adopted an organized, sector-level approach to planning and execution. This initiative, coordinated through the Ministry of Community and Territorial Development (MCTID), the Ministry of Economy, and the Reforms Delivery Office of the Cabinet of Ministers, involves collaboration across 20 sectors to pinpoint project-level priorities, assess financing requirements, and oversee funding, implementation, and disbursement.

Collaborative Efforts and Financial Planning

Workshops and consultations with experts from the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) sectoral teams have facilitated focused discussions on the technical, economic, and social implications of various project priorities, alongside considerations of feasibility and timeline for implementation. This collaborative effort has led to the identification of US$9.5 billion (€8.6 billion) needed in 2024 to cover unmet funding for the most urgent repair, recovery, and reconstruction priorities.

CategoryDetails2024 Needs (US$ Billion)Total Project Cost (US$ Billion)
Overall Funding NeedsTotal urgent repair, recovery, and reconstruction priorities9.5N/A
Public Funding RequirementFor the most urgent priorities identified by line ministries>15N/A
Funding Already MetThrough state budget and donor support, in addition to social protection budget5.5 (plus 3.6 for social protection)N/A
Sectoral Priorities– Industry and services – Housing and utilities – Energy – Social infrastructure and services – Transport3.6 (Industry and services 3.1 (Housing and utilities)  2.7 (Energy) 2.4 (Social infrastructure) 2.3 (Transport)N/A
Cross-sectoral PrioritiesNeeds across various sectors1.2N/A
Additional Strategic Priorities– Nuclear power plants – High-level protection for substations – Key refineries reconstruction2 (Nuclear plants) 0.7 (Substations) 0.28 (Refineries)8.9 (Nuclear plants) 2.1 (Substations) 2.5 (Refineries)
Private Investment PotentialPublic investments to catalyze private investment for recovery and reconstructionUp to 5.5N/A
Public and SOE InvestmentsInvestments required across sectors, including transfers, subsidies, and guarantees>8N/A
Other ExpendituresIncluding programs to maintain firm functioning and stimulate consumer investment in housingNearly 5 (transfers, subsidies, guarantees)<br>2 (other expenditures)N/A
This table encapsulates the critical financial data and sectoral needs for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction in 2024, highlighting the extensive planning and resources required to address the impact of the conflict and lay the groundwork for sustainable development.

Figure 4. Comparison of needs in RDNA2 and RDNA3 (billion US$)

Source: Assessment team. Note: y axis = US$ billion; x axis = sectors under RDNA2 and RDNA3. Needs in both RDNA reports cover the period up to 2033

Figure 5. Summary of RDNA3 recovery and reconstruction priorities and funding needs for 2024 as identified by Ukrainian authorities

Source: Assessment team, based on data in sector templates prepared by GoU line ministries and coordinated by the MCTID.a.           Private sector includes firms and households; figures are estimated based on assumptions of investment and lending multipliers of various public support instruments; note that private sector investments not estimated in RDNA2. – b. Includes expenditures and investments from Government and SOEs as well from donors and international financial institutions. – c. Social transfers are part of RDNA-defined needs but are not included in GoU RDNA priorities, as they are considered an ongoing core responsibility covered by the state budget. Figure excludes non-RDNA-related pensions. – d. Including through state and local budgets; loans and grants from international financial institutions and donors; and SOE own funds; includes funding under negotiation but not finalized.

Table . Summary of assessed recovery and reconstruction priorities for 2024 financing – estimated contribution by sector and type of expenditure (US$ million)

 Public funds – estimated distribution across types of expenditurePrivate funds – estimated additional contribution to meeting priorities
    Total  Public and SOE investmentaSubsidies, guarantees, and other financial supportb  Other public expenditurec  Total private sector  Estimated private investmentdEstimated private working capital / financinge
Energy2,6561,874782g
Transport2,3342,334
Housing and utilities3,0781,4941,2143702,5005002,000
Housing2,1165331,2143702,5005002,000
Central heating159159
Municipal services247247
Energy efficiency258258
Waste management5656
Water supply and sanitation242242
Social infrastructure and services2,4401,869571
Education1,193743450
Healthcare87381657
Culture66
Social protectionf36930564
Industry and services3,593443,519308,0004,5003,500
Industry and commerce3,1143,104106,0004,000h2,000h
Agribusiness435415202,0005001,500
Irrigation4444
Cross-sectoral1,186606580300300i
Demining492492
Emergency response and civil protection272272
Democracy, justice, and human rights2222
Telecom and digital40031287300300
Total15,2878,2415,0142,031up to 11,000~5,300~ 5,500

Source: Assessment team, based on data in sector templates prepared by GoU line ministries and coordinated by the Ministry of Restoration. Note that the analysis of distribution across expenditure types and private sector potential contribution is made by the World Bank team based on analysis of GoU monitoring data and other sources and is intended as an estimate to provide perspective on the nature of expenditure needs and contributions. Figures shown here are assessed priorities for 2024 and do not indicate the funding commitments mobilized to meet these priorities. Sectoral definitions used in this table are aligned with priority sectors as defined by GoU and do not match exactly with the structure and nomenclature of the RDNA3.

  1. Public investment includes investment from central and local governments and SOEs as well as from international financial institutions and other donors and development partners.
  2. Instruments include subsidies, grants, and other transfers to firms and households that are intended to enable private investment, including by reducing risks to credit provision and risks and costs of investment. This includes in agriculture: all projects other than technical assistance support (US$20 million); in housing: e-recovery, voucher compensation, preferential loans to rural developers, and various preferential mortgage programs; in industry and services: all projects other than technical assistance (US$10 million).
  3. Other public expenditure includes non-capital expenditures by the state, excluding grants, subsidies, and other expenditures covered in the previous column.
  4. Private investment includes investments by private firms and households, which are facilitated by the public financial support instruments (grants, loans, guarantees, etc.). Figures are estimates from the World Bank assessment team and calculated based on assumed multipliers on private capital mobilization from different support instruments.
  5. Private working capital/financing includes expenditures made by firms for reconstruction and recovery needs as well as expenditures made by private households in the housing market. which are financed by private capital mobilized through instruments of public financial support (e.g., subsidized or guaranteed lending). Figures are estimates from the World Bank assessment team and calculated based on assumed multipliers on private capital mobilization from different support instruments.
  6. Excludes US$3.56 billion in RDNA-related social transfers not included in GoU-identified sectoral priorities because they are established as an ongoing commitment in the state budget.
  7. There are expected to be opportunities for private investment in the energy sector as part of recovery and reconstruction, although these are not captured in the analysis presented here as it is linked to sector-specific instruments (note: some programs under Industry and services sector could facilitate private investment in energy.
  8. Investments and working capital facilitated through programs from the Ministry of Economy will not be restricted to the industry and services sector and the agribusiness sector and may also support infrastructure sectors like energy, transport, and construction.
  9. Reflects expected investments by private telecommunications operators.

Strengthening Ukraine’s Resilience: Institutional and Policy Reforms for Post-War Recovery and Reconstruction

In the wake of the devastating conflict that has marred its landscapes and upended the lives of millions, Ukraine has embarked on a comprehensive journey of recovery and reconstruction. The path to rebuilding the war-torn nation is paved with a series of institutional and policy reforms aimed at ensuring the efficient and effective restoration of its communities, territories, and infrastructure. These reforms are not merely administrative adjustments but represent a profound transformation in the governance and strategic direction of Ukraine’s post-war recovery efforts.

Establishment of the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development

A pivotal step in this transformative journey was the creation of the Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development (MCTID), also referred to as the Ministry of Recovery. This new governmental body emerged as a central coordinator for the reconstruction of war-affected regions, facilitating the integration of various recovery initiatives and ensuring their alignment with national priorities. The establishment of MCTID marked a significant shift towards a more organized and focused approach to rebuilding the nation’s damaged fabric.

Role of the Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration

To reinforce the strategic focus of these efforts, the position of Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration of Ukraine was established. This role was designed to bridge the operational activities of MCTID with the broader governmental agenda, ensuring that recovery efforts are seamlessly integrated into the national policy framework. The individual occupying this position also serves as the head of MCTID, symbolizing the direct link between high-level policy formulation and ground-level implementation of recovery projects.

The State Agency for Infrastructure Restoration and Development

At the heart of Ukraine’s reconstruction strategy is the State Agency for Infrastructure Restoration and Development of Ukraine, also known as the Agency for Restoration. Tasked with overseeing the nation’s largest infrastructure projects, the agency operates through territorial offices to support and implement both regional and local recovery projects. These projects are initiated based on the specific requests of project customers, highlighting a bottom-up approach in the reconstruction strategy. The agency’s activities are meticulously coordinated by MCTID, ensuring a cohesive and unified approach to national recovery efforts.

Empowerment of Territorial Communities

The framework for Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction also places significant emphasis on the empowerment of territorial communities. These communities are at the forefront of developing planning documents, establishing international partnerships, and implementing restoration projects within their territories. The approach is characterized by its inclusiveness, mandating engagement and consultation with local civil society to ensure that the reconstruction efforts are reflective of and responsive to the actual needs of the affected populations.

Regional State Military Administrations

In certain instances, Regional State (Military) Administrations (RSA/RMA) have been authorized to carry out recovery projects on behalf of territorial communities. This provision allows for a more flexible and responsive mechanism to address the urgent needs of areas particularly hard-hit by the conflict, ensuring that reconstruction efforts can be swiftly and effectively deployed.

European Union’s Commitment

On the international front, the European Union (EU) has pledged robust support for Ukraine’s journey towards recovery and reconstruction. This commitment is intertwined with the broader objective of facilitating Ukraine’s integration into the European fold, through the implementation of reforms aligned with European standards and values. A significant milestone in this context is the proposal of the Ukraine Facility by the European Commission (EC), a multi-annual support mechanism spanning from 2024 to 2027. The Facility is aimed at addressing the basic needs of the state, while simultaneously fostering Ukraine’s recovery, reconstruction, and modernization. A notable feature of this initiative is its focus on catalyzing private sector investments that are in harmony with Ukraine’s aspirations towards EU integration. In February 2023, the European Council endorsed a substantial allocation of €50 billion for the Ukraine Facility, underlining the EU’s tangible commitment to supporting Ukraine’s post-war recovery.

Ukraine’s Path to EU Accession

In a historic move, the European Council, following the EC’s recommendations in November 2023, agreed to initiate accession negotiations with Ukraine. This decision marked a significant milestone in the EU enlargement process, with the explanatory presentation of the acquis commencing thereafter. This development not only signifies Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine but also underscores the strategic importance of Ukraine’s integration into the European framework as part of its post-war recovery and rebuilding narrative.

United Nations’ Involvement

The United Nations (UN) in Ukraine, with its extensive operational presence encompassing 24 agencies and 3,000 personnel, plays a crucial role in supporting community-driven recovery and reconstruction initiatives. The UN’s efforts are geared towards mobilizing communities, identifying their needs, and enhancing their capacity to spearhead their recovery processes. A central tenet of the UN’s strategy is the promotion of inclusivity, ensuring that marginalized groups are integral to the recovery efforts. This approach aims to foster social cohesion, reduce inequalities, and rebuild the socio-economic landscape of the nation.

In collaboration with the Government of Ukraine (GoU) and MCTID, the UN has established the Ukraine Community Recovery Fund. This fund is instrumental in supporting communities that are proactively involved in their recovery, focusing on reducing current and future humanitarian needs, restoring social and economic structures, and facilitating the voluntary return of displaced individuals to their homes.

Figure. Schematic illustration of national and local level institutions engaged in recovery and reconstruction

Maximizing Private Financing for Reconstruction in Ukraine

The reconstruction and recovery efforts in Ukraine post-conflict have been extensive, requiring significant financial resources and strategic planning. One key aspect of financing these efforts lies in leveraging private sector investments.

IFC’s Assessment of Private Sector Potential

The IFC’s analysis highlights the substantial potential of private sector financing for reconstruction investments in Ukraine. According to their estimates, the private sector could contribute between one-sixth and one-third of the total needs identified in the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment 2 (RDNA2). This contribution is contingent upon the implementation of necessary reforms and public measures that create a conducive policy environment for private investment.

Key Factors Influencing Private Investment

  • Reform Agenda: The IFC emphasizes the importance of an accelerated agenda of pro-competition reforms. These reforms, if implemented effectively, can attract more private investment, especially in infrastructure sectors.
  • Integration with EU and International Markets: Deeper integration with the European Union (EU) and international markets is seen as a catalyst for increasing private sector involvement in reconstruction. This integration not only attracts investments but also opens up additional opportunities beyond the immediate reconstruction needs outlined in RDNA2.
  • Sectoral Focus: Private investment is more readily attracted to commercial sectors such as agriculture, commerce and industry, and banking. However, there is potential for increased private sector participation in infrastructure sectors with the right policy environment.

Reforms and Public Interventions

  • Energy Sector: Liberalization of energy prices is highlighted as a crucial reform that can stimulate private investment in energy infrastructure.
  • Privatization and PPPs: Privatization or private participation in the ownership and management of state-owned assets, particularly in the transport and banking sectors, can unlock private capital. Additionally, promoting public-private partnerships (PPPs) in various sectors, including traditionally state-dominated areas like water and sanitation, health, and education, can attract private investors.
  • Public Investment in Critical Areas: Public investment in areas like irrigation not only addresses immediate needs but also creates opportunities for private sector involvement and investment.

Private Investment Opportunities Beyond RDNA2

Looking beyond the immediate reconstruction needs outlined in RDNA2, IFC identifies significant private investment opportunities between 2023 and 2033. These opportunities, estimated between US$99 billion and US$282 billion (in constant 2023 prices), can contribute to Ukraine’s economic growth and development.

The Government of Ukraine’s Policy Initiatives to Boost Private Sector Resilience and Investment

The Government of Ukraine (GoU) has implemented a series of policy initiatives aimed at maintaining financial stability, strengthening the private sector, and promoting investment opportunities amidst the challenges posed by the ongoing conflict.

Accelerated Energy Sector Reforms

In response to the prevailing conditions, the GoU has prioritized energy sector reforms to enhance efficiency, attract investments, and align with international standards. Notable measures include:

  • Energy Strategy 2050: The approval of the Energy Strategy 2050 signals a long-term vision for decarbonization and sustainability in the energy sector, aligning with the EU Clean Energy Package and setting clear targets for transition.
  • Wholesale Electricity Market: Increasing maximum price caps in the wholesale electricity market has aimed to improve market liquidity and incentivize investments, particularly in renewable energy sources like wind power.
  • Integration with ENTSO-E: Implementation of technical requirements by Ukrenergo to enable permanent interconnection with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) strengthens Ukraine’s position in regional and EU energy markets.

Reform Supporting Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs)

The enactment of the Law on Amendments to the Budget Code of Ukraine has been instrumental in facilitating PPPs and increasing investment in infrastructure. This reform provides a framework for delivering high-quality public services through private sector participation, fostering innovation and efficiency in service delivery.

Land Reform Initiatives

The phased approach to land reform in Ukraine has been a significant policy shift aimed at expanding opportunities for investment, particularly in agriculture:

  • First Phase (July 2021): Removal of the moratorium on domestic transactions involving small land plots by individuals laid the groundwork for broader land reforms.
  • Second Phase (Since January 2024): The ongoing second phase of land reform, allowing Ukrainian businesses to purchase land, holds the potential to unlock significant investment opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Supporting Private Sector Resilience

The GoU’s interventions to bolster private sector resilience include innovative programs such as the “Affordable Loans 5-7-9” program:

  • Affordable Loans Program: Through this program, the GoU partially compensates interest on loans to Ukrainian SMEs, providing crucial financial support and incentivizing business growth.

Impact and Future Prospects

These policy changes have created a positive momentum for private sector development and investment in Ukraine. The alignment with international standards, promotion of PPPs, and land reform initiatives are expected to further enhance economic resilience and attract diverse investments across key sectors.

Ukraine Signs Agreements Worth Over EUR 530 Million with International Partners in Paris

On December 13, 2022, in Paris, France, a significant milestone in Ukraine’s economic and strategic partnerships with international entities was marked as Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Minister Bruno Le Maire finalized four crucial agreements, totaling more than EUR 530 million in value. This event underscores the ongoing support and collaboration between Ukraine and its allies, particularly highlighting France’s continued commitment to aiding Ukraine’s development across various sectors.

The agreements signed during this diplomatic engagement encompass diverse areas of cooperation, ranging from infrastructure restoration to digital industry support, reflecting a comprehensive approach to fostering Ukraine’s economic resilience and growth. Let’s delve into each agreement and its implications for Ukraine’s trajectory:

Guarantee Agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

  • A guarantee agreement was formalized between the Government of Ukraine and the EBRD, securing a EUR 300 million loan for Ukrenergo. This funding is designated for the emergency restoration of power transmission networks, critical for maintaining stability and functionality in Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
  • Additionally, a grant of EUR 70 million from the Netherlands supplements this loan, facilitating the acquisition of high-voltage equipment vital for enhancing the efficiency and reliability of Ukraine’s power grid.

Bilateral Agreement between France and the EBRD

  • France, in collaboration with the EBRD, committed to providing an additional EUR 100 million in assistance to Ukraine. This bilateral agreement underscores France’s active involvement in supporting Ukraine’s economic development and resilience.

Rail Supply Agreement with Saarstahl

  • An agreement was reached between the Government of Ukraine and Saarstahl, a French company, for the supply of rails valued at up to EUR 37.6 million. This partnership not only addresses Ukraine’s infrastructure needs but also strengthens bilateral trade relations between Ukraine and France.

Long-term Roadmap for Digital Industry Support

  1. A significant stride was made with the establishment of a long-term roadmap between Ukraine and France for supporting Ukraine’s digital industry. This program is poised to catalyze innovation, entrepreneurship, and technological advancement in Ukraine’s digital landscape, aligning with global trends in digital transformation.

Memorandum for Bridge Supply with Matiere

  • Ukravtodor and Matiere formalized a memorandum for the supply of bridges valued at approximately EUR 25 million. This initiative underscores efforts to enhance Ukraine’s infrastructure capacity, particularly in the realm of transportation and connectivity.

State Guarantees for Seed Export

  • Ukraine presented a letter outlining the program for state guarantees from France’s Banque Bpifrance Assurance Export, facilitating seed exports to Ukraine valued at around EUR 20-25 million. This initiative not only supports Ukraine’s agricultural sector but also promotes international trade and cooperation in agricultural commodities.

These agreements signify a concerted effort to bolster Ukraine’s resilience and economic capabilities amidst ongoing challenges and geopolitical dynamics. The collaboration with international partners, notably France and the EBRD, reflects a multifaceted approach encompassing financial assistance, infrastructure development, and strategic industry support.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to highlight the broader context of these agreements within Ukraine’s strategic priorities and international relations framework. The successful conclusion of these agreements builds on previous engagements and reflects Ukraine’s proactive stance in seeking diversified partnerships to drive sustainable growth and development.

The significance of these agreements extends beyond monetary value, representing tangible support and solidarity from international allies during a pivotal juncture for Ukraine’s economic and geopolitical landscape. The commitments made in Paris underscore the mutual interests and strategic objectives shared by Ukraine and its partners, laying a foundation for continued collaboration and shared prosperity.

Strengthening the Bonds of Resilience: The Franco-Ukrainian Agreement for Long-Term Security and Sovereignty

On February 16, 2024, a landmark agreement was signed between France and Ukraine, symbolizing a significant stride in international diplomacy and a reaffirmation of the collective commitment to uphold international law, peace, and sovereignty. This agreement, signed in Paris, is not just a document of mutual understanding but a powerful testament to the solidarity between the French and Ukrainian nations in the face of adversity and aggression. It encapsulates the determination of both nations to stand together against the Russian Federation’s armed aggression, which has flagrantly violated international law and the principles laid down by the United Nations and various other international accords.

Reaffirmation of Sovereignty and International Law

At the heart of this agreement is the reaffirmation of Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defense, as enshrined in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations. Both parties recognize the illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia as a grave threat to international peace and security. This understanding is deeply rooted in the commitments to the strategic objectives of ensuring a free, independent, democratic, and sovereign Ukraine, with its internationally recognized borders as of 1991 intact and respected.

Strategic and Security Commitments

The agreement outlines comprehensive assistance from France to Ukraine, aiming at the restoration of its territorial integrity and economic recovery. France’s commitment extends to preventing and actively deterring any future aggression from Russia, supporting Ukraine’s integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, and specifically endorsing Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. The historic decisions by the European Council in June 2022 and December 2023, granting Ukraine the candidate status and opening accession negotiations, underscore this commitment.

The collaboration between the two nations is set to deepen, with a focus on enhancing Ukraine’s military and civil capabilities to defend its sovereignty. The agreement also emphasizes the importance of strategic communication and the joint effort to counter foreign interference, particularly in combating Russian propaganda and digital manipulation.

Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure

In the realm of cybersecurity, France and Ukraine pledge to work together to bolster Ukraine’s defenses against cyber threats, espionage, and attacks on critical infrastructure. This cooperation extends to enhancing the resilience of both nations against such adversities through shared intelligence, counterintelligence efforts, and collective action against serious and organized crime.

Military and Defence Industry Cooperation

The military and defense collaboration outlined in the agreement is robust, covering the provision of modern military equipment, training of Ukrainian forces, and support for the reform of the defense sector. France commits to assisting Ukraine in developing a defense industry that is interoperable with NATO standards, emphasizing the creation of sustainable force capable of defending Ukraine and deterring future aggression.

Humanitarian and Economic Assistance

The civil aspect of the agreement includes substantial humanitarian and economic assistance from France to Ukraine, aimed at facilitating immediate recovery and long-term reconstruction. This assistance will address the dire needs of the Ukrainian population and support the country’s path towards economic stability and integration into the European Union.

Legal and Political Framework

The legal and political dimensions of the agreement are significant, with both nations committing to holding Russia accountable for its aggression and ensuring compensation for the damages caused. The agreement proposes a framework for continuing sanctions against Russia, highlighting the role of legal accountability and the pursuit of justice for war crimes and other atrocities.

Implementation and Future Prospects

The agreement, valid for ten years, establishes a framework for ongoing cooperation and dialogue, with provisions for amending and supplementing the agreement as needed. It reflects a forward-looking perspective, considering Ukraine’s potential future membership in NATO and the broader Euro-Atlantic community.

France’s Technical Lifeline to Ukraine: The mAIDan Program and Its Strategic Implications

In the midst of the tumultuous geopolitical landscape of Eastern Europe, France’s role as a supportive ally to Ukraine has taken on new dimensions through the deployment of Expertise France’s mAIDan Ukraine program. This initiative represents a vital component of France’s foreign policy and its commitment to international technical cooperation, reflecting broader European and global efforts to assist Ukraine during its dire times of need.

The Foundation of Expertise France and Its Mission

Expertise France, under the aegis of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and the Ministries of Economics and Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, stands as a beacon of France’s commitment to international aid and technical cooperation. As Europe’s second-largest technical cooperation agency, Expertise France’s mandate extends beyond mere financial assistance, embedding sustainable public policy improvements in developing and emerging countries. With operations spanning over 100 countries and managing more than 400 projects, the agency’s impact is both widespread and profound.

The agency’s core operational sectors—democratic, economic, and financial governance; peace, stability, and security; climate, biodiversity, and sustainable development; and health and human development—reflect a holistic approach to international development and cooperation. Through these sectors, Expertise France aims to deliver comprehensive solutions tailored to the unique challenges and opportunities of each partner nation.

Ukraine: A Partnership Forged in Trust and Necessity

Ukraine has been a focal point of Expertise France’s efforts since 2006, fostering a trusted partnership that has only grown in importance. The outbreak of the full-scale Russian invasion has exacerbated Ukraine’s plight, with daily human casualties and extensive infrastructural destruction. The World Bank’s Recovery and Reconstruction Needs Assessment estimates Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction costs at a staggering EUR 383 billion, underscoring the immense financial and technical challenges ahead.

The mAIDan Ukraine Program: France’s Coordinated Response

In reaction to the escalating crisis, France has initiated the mAIDan Ukraine program, spearheaded by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This program is emblematic of France’s strategic response, emphasizing technical assistance and support for Ukraine’s resilience and recovery. The mAIDan Ukraine program, led by the French Special Envoy for Ukraine Relief and Reconstruction, aims to assess the country’s immediate needs and facilitate technical cooperation projects that bolster its reconstruction and European integration efforts.

With a timeline extending from 2023 to 2026, the program’s objectives are twofold: to address urgent needs through technical solutions and to lay the groundwork for sustained cooperation by financing or co-financing pertinent technical assistance projects. This dual approach underscores France’s commitment to not only provide immediate relief but also ensure long-term stability and growth for Ukraine.

Legal and Political Implications

The establishment and execution of the mAIDan Ukraine program carry significant legal and political ramifications. Legally, the program necessitates careful coordination with both Ukrainian and international laws, ensuring compliance with financial, environmental, and humanitarian standards. Politically, it represents a strong signal of France’s support for Ukraine, reinforcing France’s role as a key player in European and international politics, especially in the context of the ongoing conflict and the broader geopolitical tensions it has spurred.

Strengthening the Bonds of Resilience: France’s Focused Support for Chernihiv’s Recovery and Decentralization

In the wake of the devastating impacts of the Russian invasion, France’s commitment to aiding Ukraine’s recovery has found a poignant focus in the Chernihiv region. This region, emblematic of Ukraine’s broader struggles and aspirations, has become a central point of France’s targeted support, especially following the Ukraine Recovery Conference held in Lugano in July 2023.

Historical Ties and Strategic Focus

The Chernihiv region, severely affected by Russian bombings at the onset of the conflict, holds significant historical connections with France, particularly through long-standing Franco-Ukrainian technical cooperation initiatives. These ties were reaffirmed and strengthened during the Lugano conference, where France pledged its support for Ukraine’s recovery efforts, highlighting the Chernihiv region as a focal point for its reconstruction and aid efforts.

Chernihiv: A Microcosm of Ukrainian Challenges

Chernihiv represents a microcosm of the broader challenges faced by Ukraine—encompassing the immediate needs of war recovery and the longer-term objectives of governance reform and territorial development. Between 2015 and 2020, Ukraine made commendable strides in decentralization and regional governance reform. However, the war has necessitated a reevaluation and adaptation of these initiatives, particularly in the Chernihiv region. The strategic documents guiding regional and local development, crafted for the 2021-2027 period, now require urgent revision to address the war’s aftermath and to prioritize reconstruction, especially in critical infrastructure sectors.

The mAIDan Programme’s Strategic Pillars in Chernihiv

The “Support to the authorities in Chernihiv’s Region ( in particular in the following 6 hromadas and 1 rayon: Ichnia, Oster, Nova Basan, Novyi Bilous, Pryluky, Semenivka and Novgorod Severskiy rayon)  for reconstruction and decentralization” project, under the mAIDan programme, is structured around three strategic pillars:

  • Reform: This pillar aims to align regional and local strategic documents with the national guidelines, adapting them to the current context of recovery and reconstruction. This adjustment process is crucial to ensure that governance structures at all levels effectively support Chernihiv’s recovery and long-term development needs.
  • Capacity Building: Focusing on mobility, agriculture, culture and heritage, and innovation, this pillar seeks to enhance the administrative and operational capacities of local and regional authorities. The approach is tailored, with each hromada receiving support in one or two priority sectors based on local needs. The foundation of this support will be comprehensive diagnostics and feasibility studies, establishing a robust groundwork for subsequent developmental projects.
  • Reconstruction: The third pillar aims to foster a collaborative partnership between French municipalities and Ukrainian local authorities in Chernihiv, facilitating a peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and governance practices. This collaboration will not only involve dialogue but also material support through equipment purchases or subsidies, thereby directly contributing to the region’s physical rebuilding and administrative rejuvenation.

Impact and Implications

The focused efforts in the Chernihiv region, through the mAIDan programme, are expected to yield significant outcomes. These include the successful adaptation of governance frameworks to post-war realities, enhanced regional administrative capacities, and tangible progress in reconstruction and development. Furthermore, the peer-to-peer partnerships with French municipalities are anticipated to infuse local governance in Chernihiv with innovative practices and experiences, aiding the broader decentralization and modernization agenda of Ukraine.

France’s dedicated support for Chernihiv through the mAIDan programme is a testament to the enduring partnership between France and Ukraine. It underscores a shared commitment to rebuilding and reshaping the region’s future in the face of adversity. By focusing on reform, capacity building, and reconstruction, the initiative not only addresses immediate needs but also lays a foundation for sustainable development and governance in Chernihiv, reflecting a model of cooperation that could inspire similar endeavors in other parts of Ukraine and beyond.


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