eichengreen171_ SERGEI CHUZAVKOVAFP via Getty Images_ukraine reconstruction SERGEI CHUZAVKOV/AFP via Getty Images

Who Should Coordinate Ukrainian Reconstruction?

Reconstructing Ukraine’s economy after the war ends will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. But the reality is that donors will donate only if they can monitor and exercise reasonable control of their funds.

GENEVA – Right-minded governments are providing Ukraine with military hardware and financial infusions, albeit some more generously than others, to enable the Ukrainians to fight back against Russian aggression. At the same time, efforts are underway to estimate the costs of postwar rebuilding and plan for allocating reconstruction aid.

The more entities are involved the better. Reconstructing Ukraine’s economy will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. This effort cannot be financed by a single or even a small handful of sources. National and subnational governments will provide bilateral aid. Multilateral and regional development banks will underwrite projects. NGOs will mobilize donations. Expats will supply remittances. Corporations will provide foreign direct investment.

Importantly, their efforts should be coordinated. Otherwise, Ukraine will have railroads rebuilt to match Western European gauges but no suitable rolling stock. It will have school buildings but no textbooks or laptop computers, as donors scramble to take credit for visible reconstruction projects.

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