EBRD President in Poland to discuss response to war on Ukraine

By Vanora Bennett

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  • EBRD President to hold talks with Poland’s President and Prime Minister
  • Poland has welcomed 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees since war began
  • EBRD package offers an initial €2 billion to support resilience in Ukraine and affected countries

The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso, visits Poland on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss the impact of the war on Ukraine and the Bank’s response in affected countries with President Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

This will be her first trip to the region since the EBRD passed an initial €2 billion resilience package last week to support Ukraine and its neighbours. Poland has welcomed 1.7 million Ukrainians since the Russian-led invasion.

During her two-day trip, Ms Renaud-Basso will also meet EBRD staff from its Poland and Ukraine offices, many of whom have temporarily resettled in Poland.

In her meetings with Polish officials, the EBRD President will express appreciation of Poland’s welcome for refugees and discuss how the EBRD’s initial €2 billion resilience package of measures to help citizens, companies and countries affected by the war can support Poland.

Ms Renaud-Basso said: “I am in Poland to express the EBRD’s solidarity with the Polish authorities and the Polish people, and to show appreciation for Poland’s response to the war on Ukraine, and for welcoming refugees.

“The people of Ukraine have our complete backing, as have those of neighbouring countries such as Poland which are supporting them.

“We are facing an unparalleled crisis. But throughout our history, EBRD has been a Bank that rises to the challenge.

“It is vitally important that words are now matched with action, and we must immediately get started with this package of measures.

“Our shareholders have given their support, and our staff are already working on the ground to implement these steps,” she added.

Under the package, funding will be rapidly made available to support Ukrainian companies– for example, with deferred loans, liquidity support, and trade finance – but also municipalities to help dealing with refugees. Where possible, businesses will be helped to relocate so their work can continue.

The Bank’s Resilience and Livelihoods Framework will help in countries such as Poland which are directly affected by inflows of Ukrainian refugees. Women, children and the elderly make up the majority of displaced citizens, and municipal authorities face huge challenges in managing the influx of people.

This package, endorsed last Wednesday by the Bank’s Board of Directors, represents a first round of support. The EBRD has also pledged to do all it can to help with Ukraine’s reconstruction, once conditions allow.

The EBRD had previously declared its unwavering support for Ukraine and its people, and condemned the unjustified aggression by the Russian Federation and Belarus.

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