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Examining Recovery and Peacebuilding Needs in Eastern Ukraine

September 8, 2015


  • In late 2014, the World Bank Group, together with the EU and the UN, undertook a joint needs assessment for recovery and peacebuilding in eastern Ukraine.
  • The three organizations responded promptly and coherently. More than 90 experts from a wide range of sectors were mobilized during November and December 2014 to deliver the first phase of the Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessment.
  • The assessment estimated initial recovery, reconstruction and peacebuilding needs at $1.52 billion. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine makes the assessment a “living document” with mechanisms built-in for continuous adjustment and refinement as the situation in the Donbas region evolves.

World Bank Group joins the Government of Ukraine, EU, and UN to assess both short and long-term crisis response needs

The World Bank Group—together with the EU and the UN— have prepared a framework for the recovery and reconstruction of the conflict-affected regions in the east of Ukraine. This work began in late 2014 following a request from the Ukrainian Government, and consisted of a joint needs assessment for recovery and peacebuilding undertaken by the three institutions.

The Recovery and Peacebuilding Assessment (RPA) for Ukraine examined immediate interventions for stabilizing conflict-affected areas, which are currently under Government control, and improving living conditions and returning prospects for the displaced and vulnerable population.

More than 2 million people have been displaced both internally (1.2 million) and outside Ukraine (800,000) since the start of the conflict. As the conflict continues, both humanitarian and development impacts are felt by both displaced and host communities. 

Humanitarian needs—such as emergency provision of shelter, food, and basic needs for the vulnerable—are increasingly paired with development and poverty reduction issues—service delivery deficits, overburdened social welfare services, joblessness, increasing social tensions, and deteriorating debt and credit relations. Long-term displacement contributes to recurrent cycles of insecurity, can erode citizen confidence and imposes burdens on state structures and public finance.

Despite the uncertain prospects for settling the conflict in the east, the Government and the three institutions believe strongly in the relevance and urgency of the recovery assessment and planning process. 


The RPA calls for greater responsiveness in addressing existing urgent priorities in the areas which have been affected but are not currently the sites of confrontation, particularly the areas with high numbers of internally displaced people. Unlike most crisis contexts, where recovery and reconstruction needs take a long time to assess, the first phase of the RPA allows the Government and its partners, including the World Bank Group, to “get ahead of the game.”

The RPA provides detailed recommendations to restore critical infrastructure and social services, promote economic recovery and strengthen social resilience and peacebuilding at national, regional and local levels – with the Government in the lead role.

“Full government ownership and leadership are key to the success of this whole initiative,” says Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. “In the current circumstances in Ukraine, ensuring Government commitment and ownership both at the central and local level is challenging, but absolutely essential.”

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine makes the assessment a “living document” with mechanisms built-in for continuous adjustment and refinement as the situation in the eastern areas evolves. Because of the ongoing conflict, some areas remain inaccessible and there is little data currently available.

The RPA provides a framework for stronger coordination of multisectoral recovery interventions in eastern Ukraine between the Government, international donors, and a broad array of governmental and non-governmental actors at local level. It is hoped that the RPA will make an important contribution to recovery and peacebuilding in eastern Ukraine, for the benefit of all Ukrainians.