Three weeks into war, Ukraine is falling into poverty and about 90 per cent of the population could be facing poverty and vulnerability to poverty if the war deepens and protracts further, according to a UNDP report.
The war, which has already shattered the country, will lead to a collapse of the country’s economy, its social fabric, and environment, said the report — the development impact of the war in ukraine – initial projections.
As of March 10, 2022, the report mentions that the simulations project household monetary poverty impacts to be at least 15 percent. In this scenario, in 12 months-time, over six per cent of the population is expected to be living under a 5.50/day dollar poverty line (in purchasing-power-parity terms). This amounts to three times the expected poverty rate had the crisis not occurred, and twice the poverty rate recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, the report said. 54 per cent of the population will be living at high risk of falling back into poverty, i.e., under the 13 dollars/day vulnerability line
In the report, the UNDP says that at least 100 billion dollar worth of infrastructure, buildings, roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, and other physical assets have been destroyed. The war has caused 50% of Ukrainian businesses to shut down completely, while the other half is forced to operate well below its capacity.
“To help prevent these shocks and protect hard-won development gains, “we need peace now”, said UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner.
He insisted that among the agency’s primary objectives, UNDP was working to sustain “critical governance structures and services, which constitute the bedrock of all societies”.
He added: “The war in Ukraine is causing unimaginable human suffering with a tragic loss of life and the displacement of millions…An alarming economic decline, and the suffering and hardship it will bring to an already traumatised population must now come into sharper focus. There is still time to halt this grim trajectory.”
As per the UN estimates, nearly three in 10 people in Ukraine need life-saving humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that 18 million people will likely become affected, and more than seven million may have to flee their homes.
The UNDP states that one in two Ukrainian businesses have shut down completely, while the other half has been forced to operate well below capacity.
The UNDP report states that about 250 million dollar per month is needed to cover partial income losses for 2.6 million people who are expected to fall into poverty. It said that about 430 million dollar a month was needed for providing the most vulnerable with a basic income of 5.50 dollar per day. Ukraine’s neighbours who have struggled to cope with the more than three million refugees created also need help, the UN agency said.
The UNDP says that an effective humanitarian-development-peace nexus was critical for mitigating development setbacks in the country.