European support for Ukrainian recovery may rely on country reforming ‘social policies’

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The European Union plans to invest up roughly $104 billion to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure blasted during Russia’s invasion.

The European Investment Bank aims to create a EU-Ukraine Gateway Trust Fund by which EU countries would contribute to Ukraine’s recovery in the form of grants, loans and guarantees, Reuters reported Monday.

The investment plan comes as Russia has decimated infrastructure with missile and artillery strikes across Ukraine, but primarily in its eastern region.

Europe kicked off the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Switzerland on Monday. The event was originally scheduled as the annual Ukraine Reform Conference, where high-level politicians from European countries supporting Ukraine have met with the country’s leaders in the past.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the conference, where the country’s officials are set to receive a report card of sorts on Ukraine’s recent progress toward “modernization.”

DONBASS, UKRAINE - DECEMBER 06: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "UKRAINIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the front-line positions of Ukrainian military in Donbass, Ukraine on December 06, 2021. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

DONBASS, UKRAINE – DECEMBER 06: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT – “UKRAINIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits the front-line positions of Ukrainian military in Donbass, Ukraine on December 06, 2021. (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) (Photo by Ukrainian Presidency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The conference will focus on Ukraine’s progress on economic, environmental, social and governmental reforms. The conference argues that continued support for Ukraine relies on the country making further progress on the areas, particularly in social policy.

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“Many challenges remain, and continued progress in social policy reforms will be critical in Ukraine’s post-conflict recovery,” the conference’s Ukraine Reform Tracker wrote.

The tracker went on to highlight Ukraine’s record on LGBT rights and inclusion. Gay marriage is illegal in Ukraine, though the report praised the country’s government for defending gay pride parades in its major cities.

“As indicated by Ukraine’s ranking in ILGA Europes Rainbow Europe index, this progress stagnated in recent years,” the tracker wrote of Ukrainian LGBT reforms. “For example, while Ukraine’s Parliament registered bills that propose protection from hate crimes on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, these have not yet been passed.”

“It is essential to emphasize that Ukraine must adopt an inclusive and participatory approach to recovery, with the full involvement of diverse stakeholders from civil society. Reparations will constitute a key part of this process,” the report continued.

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The URC states that Ukraine’s continued progress on social, economic, governmental and environmental reforms “will be essential to the nation’s recovery after the war.”

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