The Netherlands will invest 100 million euros to help Ukrainian farmers and agricultural companies
The Netherlands will provide 100 million euros, through the World Bank, in guarantees to finance farms in Ukraine and generators to get the country through the coming winter. This pledge was made by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liesje Schreinemacher, at the World Bank's spring meeting in Washington.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, The Netherlands has remained committed to helping the Ukrainian people. This week we contributed EUR 40 million to the @Worldbank's @IFC_org. This provides Ukraine's farmers access to finance, and ensures more food security. pic.twitter.com/RAADTZOQK3— Liesje Schreinemacher (@LSchreinemacher) April 15, 2023
According to the minister, this is the first concrete implementation of the 2.5 billion euros that the Netherlands promised Ukraine for this year, in the form of reconstruction aid. The focus of this large sum has been on military assistance, but Schreinemacher assured that other support options are also being carefully examined.
"40 million euros will be used specifically for agricultural businesses so they can buy grain or replace broken farm equipment this season," Schreinemacher explained. "These businesses will simply take out a loan from a local bank, but because banks there are naturally reluctant now, there will be a guarantee that the bank will get its money back at any time. Then the bank is also more inclined to make a loan faster."
According to Schreinemacher, this will not only help the Ukrainian agricultural sector. The support would also be good for global food security, as Ukraine exports a lot of grain.
The remaining amount of 100 million euros is earmarked not only for the purchase of generators, but also for purposes such as road repairs. The generators are not expected to be needed until next winter, therefore they will be delivered in the fall.
However, the minister does not yet know which recovery projects the Netherlands will allocate more money to. But support for landmine removal is high on the list, "because people there want to be able to go home safely," Schreinemacher stated.
The minister stressed that the Netherlands wants to support Ukraine for as long as necessary. That also means, she said, that the Cabinet will consider whether more money is needed on top of the 2.5 billion euros. Earlier this month, Finance Minister Sigrid Kaag had also said she wanted to talk about additional financial support for the country hit by a devastating war.
Reporting by ANP