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25 April, 01:52 PM

Ukrainian refugees can help Europe with labor shortages, says IMF

Ukrainian refugees who stay in Europe for a long time could help European countries overcome their labor shortages, Alfred Kammer, the Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in an interview with the VOA's Ukrainian service on April 23.

"In the long run, Ukraine wants refugees to return. The sooner this happens, the better," he said.

"However, some refugees may stay for a long time, and this will be positive for Europe, because there will be a shortage of labor in Europe in the medium term."

He said that the war in Ukraine most affected Eastern European economies, including for the reason that Eastern European countries are accepting the largest number of refugees.

"We have downgraded the forecast for current growth in Eastern European countries by 1.5 percentage points,” said Kammer. “For advanced economies, we have worsened this forecast by 1 percentage point, i.e. these countries are significantly affected by the crisis."

At the same time, the IMF representative stressed that this was happening after the significant recovery of those Eastern European economies with emerging markets. The recovery was much greater than in the developed European economies.

According to the United Nations, almost 5.2 million Ukrainians have left their country since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine started on Feb. 24.

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