If war lasts longer than a year, 90% of Ukrainians will fall into poverty – UN

16 May, 04:02 PM
Results of Russian shelling of civilian area in Ukraine (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Results of Russian shelling of civilian area in Ukraine (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

If Russia’s war against Ukraine lasts more than another year, 90% of the Ukrainian population might fall into poverty, according to an analysis published by the United Nations.

Russia's war against Ukraine - the main events of May 16

According to the analysis, the Russian army has damaged an estimated at $100 billion worth of Ukrainian infrastructure. But the UN says this cost might eventually climb to a sum 5-6 times more.

“Ukraine: ruined buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and this costs at least $100 billion,” the UN’s analysis reads. “Half of all businesses are completely shut down, the other half are experiencing major obstacles. A long-term conflict might lead to nine out of 10 Ukrainians falling below the poverty line,” the UN said.

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The World Bank defines a country as poor if its average spending per capita is no more than $2.50 a day. Under this definition, many African nations are defined as poor, while no European country so far qualifies as poor under the World Bank definition. Even in the most economically problematic countries, like Moldova, Belarus, Armenia, Bosnia and Kosovo, most of the population is able to spend more than $2.50 a day.

The United Nations Commission on Human rights previously published a report on the victims of the Russian full-scale aggression which started on Feb. 24.

According to it, 3,573 Ukrainian civilians are confirmed to have been killed, 3,816 wounded.

On May 11 figures stood at 3,541 and 3,785 respectively. Unconfirmed estimates of losses are much higher, the UN has said.

Besides human losses, many business assets have been ruined, which is leading to rising unemployment in Ukraine. In Mariupol, in Kyiv Oblast, in Chernihiv, and in Mykolaiv material losses within the urban economy have created major disruptions to further economic development and job creation.

The situation in Russia’s economy is difficult as well. The massive exodus of Western companies has led to a drastic increase in unemployment among white-collar workers. Major multinational energy and banking groups have already quit doing business in Russia.

Retired U.S. General Ben Hodges recently shared a forecast on the future development of Russia’s war in an interview with U.S. cable news channel CNN. According to him, the Ukrainian army will push the Russian invaders back to their positions as of Feb. 23 close to the end of summer.

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