The World Bank has approved a new loan for Ukraine to help the country hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak provide support to low-income families.
The $300 million loan, which was approved late on December 11, comes as the international financial institution predicted that the level of poverty in Ukraine could reach 23% by the end of the year.
“The new funds will help finance Ukraine’s emergency social protection response to COVID-19 by introducing rapid cash transfers to individuals and households who have lost their jobs or sources of income due to the pandemic,” the bank said in a statement.
The funds will be added to an earlier loan of $150 million released in April.
Ukraine has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 885,000 cases of infection and nearly 15,000 deaths. The continued spread of the coronavirus has recently led the government to impose tough new restrictions, including a ban on mass gatherings and the closure of schools and restaurants.
Similar containment measures in June caused Ukraine’s economy to plummet by more than 11%.
Earlier this month, the World Bank approved a $100 million project to promote socio-economic recovery and development in government-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine, where a separatist conflict backed by Russia which has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014 is still simmering.
The World Bank also recently announced plans to help Ukraine purchase COVID-19 vaccines.