Ukraine gets $1.5 billion funding tranche under World Bank programme

2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund

(Reuters) -Ukraine has received a $1.5 billion tranche of funding under a World Bank programme, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Friday, helping it pay for its budget and social spending as it defends itself against the Russian invasion.

Ukraine is reliant on financial aid from its Western partners but foreign financing dwindled in the first two months of this year, and a U.S. aid package has been blocked by Republicans in Congress for months.

In March, Kyiv managed to attract about $9 billion in total external financing, the Finance Ministry added. The European Union, Canada, Japan, the International Monetary Fund and Britain were among the donors.

The new block of World Bank aid was funded by Britain and Japan, Shmyhal said.

"984 million dollars come from Japan and 516 million dollars from the UK. The funds will cover budget spending for social and humanitarian needs and reconstruction," he wrote on X.

Earlier in March, Ukraine received a 4.5 billion euro ($4.9 billion) first tranche of aid under a European Union bridging finance programme.

Kyiv spends most of its own revenues to finance its defence efforts since Russia invaded in February 2022, leaving Kyiv heavily reliant on funding from Western partners to cover its social spending.

"In 2024, external financing reached $10.2 billion, and since the beginning of the full-scale war – $83.8 billion. International assistance is directed to finance the priority social expenditures of the state budget of Ukraine," the ministry added.

($1 = 0.9275 euros)

(Reporting by Yuliia Dysa; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Hugh Lawson and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)