NWP continues to inform its members of potential opportunities in the future recovery of Ukraine’s essential infrastructure.
On the 4th and 5th of July 2022, Switzerland hosted the international Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022) in Lugano. Previously called Ukraine Reform Conference, the event took place in London (2017), Copenhagen (2018), Toronto (2019), and Vilnius (2021). It is an annual conference aimed at reporting the reform developments that took place in Ukraine, displaying the progress that has been achieved to international partners and strategising the following steps for the governmental institutions, NGOs, private businesses, knowledge institutes, civil society, media. The original theme of the conference, Stability and Prosperity, has been changed due to the start of full-scale Russian war against Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Netherlands, Mrs Liesje Schreinemacher, attended the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Lugano. She expressed solidarity on behalf of the Netherlands and contributed to the discussions of Recovery and Development Plan of Ukraine; methods, priorities and principles of the recovery process; social, economic, environmental and infrastructure recovery from the military conflict, and others. In her speech, Mrs. Liesje Schreinemacher announced that the Government of the Netherlands has made EUR 200 million, on top of the previous EUR 140 million, available to help cover the day-to-day costs of the Ukrainian Government. Furthermore, the Minister reiterated that while active reconstruction of infrastructure is not possible in Ukraine due to regular shelling and foreign occupation, the international community must be prepared to act rapidly as soon as peace has been established.
The National Recovery Plan provides a glimpse of potential opportunities for the Dutch water sector to become involved in the areas of needs in the restoration and reconstruction process as well. For example, a deep overview of recovery programmes lists the following projects with an approximate implementation timeframe from 2023 to 2032:
8.2. Agri: Build 1 mha irrigation system in compliance with EU directives
8.6. Agri: Promoting the transition of the agri-food sector ~1.1 to "green" growth (by enabling precision farming)
10b.1. Modernise water and wastewater management system
The Recovery Plan also provides an approximate estimation of the investment funds required to implement the programmes. For example, the modernisation of drinking water and wastewater treatment will require roughly USD42 Bn, incl. USD11 Bn for building new networks to provide wider access. As a result of constant shelling and explosions, over 4,6 million people in Ukraine have difficulties accessing clean drinking water. This is a significant incentive to plan projects aimed at reducing the level of water contamination, which is reviewed in detail in the materials of the working group "Environmental safety".
While the timing of any potential involvement is difficult, as nobody can predict the end of the war, there are ongoing discussions about a post-conflict support effort from the various Dutch ministries. The consensus is that the needs assessment recently published by the World Bank would be the starting point of any reconstruction and recovery efforts. Another independent assessment by the EU is also expected this month.
Meanwhile NWP and our local NGO-partner in Ukraine, Primavera, have been asked by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and the local Dutch Embassy to familiarise themselves with these assessment reports and to analyse and identify project opportunities in Ukraine with a specific focus on water and agriculture for potential post-conflict engagement. This report is due on 31 October 2022. More to follow as the work progresses.
If you are interested in Ukraine, or are already operating in the country, we would like to hear from you. Please reach out to NWP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.