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Ukraine signs $350 mln loan agreement with World Bank

·1-min read

KYIV, June 25 (Reuters) - Ukraine signed a $350 million loan agreement with the World Bank that aims to help the country to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and support economic recovery, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said on Friday.

"The funds will be directed to the development of the economy amid the pandemic, to social support as well as to strengthen state institutions," Shmygal wrote on Twitter.

The government forecasts about 4% growth in 2021 following the 4% decline in 2020 when lockdowns were imposed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Earlier in June, Kyiv lifted almost all restrictions following a significant decrease in the daily number of new infections.

But the central bank says the slow vaccination of Ukraine's 41 million population and the possibility of new restrictions pose a high risk to economic growth.

Ukraine has registered over 2.2 million coronavirus cases with more than 52,000 COVID-related deaths, while only 1.4 million people have received a first dose of vaccine and about 490,000 have been fully vaccinated.

The World Bank, a major international partner of Ukraine, has committed about $14 billion for more than 80 projects and programmes since the country joined the bank in 1992. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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