The Prime Minister of Ukraine says the restoration will cost $750 billion.

For Ukrainians living through the war, it is difficult to measure the cost of the conflict: thousands of people killed, countless homes and buildings destroyed by rockets, displaced families, lost livelihoods. But international leaders gather in the Swiss lakeside town of Lugano for second day on tuesday in an attempt to do just that.

The leaders, joined by aid organizations and financial institutions, are outlining the monumental effort it will take to rebuild a war-ravaged Ukraine.

Nearly five months of war damaged critical infrastructure – factories, airports, railway stations – and wiped out homes, schools, hospitals, churches and shopping centers. And the bombs keep falling. Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal told those gathered in Lugano on Monday that the cost of restoring estimated at $750 billion..

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned the conference participants that the task of rebuilding the country would be “enormous”. Russia’s indiscriminate shelling was an attempt to destroy not only Ukraine, but the vision of democracy and Europe, he said via video link, making the war “not just ours, not just local.”

“This is a Russian attack on everything that is of value to you and me,” he added. “Therefore, the restoration of Ukraine is not a local project, not a project of one nation, but a joint task of the entire democratic world.”

He repeated this message in your nightly address to Ukraine.

Whatever the cost, Ukraine’s international allies will face an uphill battle to help rebuild a former Soviet state with a culture of pervasive corruption and fragile democratic institutions. Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog, ranked Ukraine 117th out of 180 countries in its corruption index in 2020.

At the same time, while Ukraine would welcome more pledges of aid, many Western countries and their populations are suffering from war weariness amid rising inflation and food and gas prices. And it remains to be seen how far countries will be willing to go to help Ukraine when the war is finally over.

Earlier this year, donor pledges for Afghanistan and Yemen fell far short of targets set by the United Nations. In Afghanistan, where Taliban politics have complicated relief efforts, the UN said This year, $4.4 billion was needed. only in humanitarian aid, but $2.4 billion was raised. Of the $4.3 billion requested for Yemen, $1.3 billion was contributed.

mr. Zelensky sent Mr. Shmyhal and other members of his cabinet to Lugano, a picturesque lakeside town, for two days of negotiations with a group of international heavyweights. Also in attendance were European Union Executive President Ursula van der Leyen, who called rebuilding Ukraine a “generational challenge”, and British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, as well as senior officials from Europe, North America and Asia. and representatives of major international financial institutions.

The meeting was planned long before the war as one of a series of conferences dedicated to the fight against corruption in Ukraine. But after Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24, the focus shifted to recovery. First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska also spoke at a conference in Lugano via video link on Monday and announced the next meeting of first ladies and gentlemen from around the world on July 23. She spent the group’s first summit last year in Kyiv, the capital.

“Any talk about the post-war restoration of Ukraine makes no sense if they do not put the restoration of the moral and physical health of people at the forefront,” said the lady. Zelenskaya to her on Monday.

The meeting in Lugano continues to discuss issues of governance and corruption, which have taken on new prominence in recent weeks: when the European Union accepted Ukraine as a candidate for full membership last month, it said progress on anti-corruption and the rule of law would be needed to application promotion.

But even before the conference began, a number of countries seemed ready to pledge financial support.

The UK has said it will provide more than $1 billion in World Bank loans and financial support grants and guarantees another half a billion dollars in World Bank loans, as well as immediate support to clear mines and rebuild Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Vivek Shankar made a report.