Good afternoon, dear colleagues, fellow Ukrainians.
It has been a week since russian terrorists blew up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant, committing one of the biggest ecocides of the 21st century. And today, they launched a missile attack on Kryvyi Rih, on a residential building, on women and children. There are many wounded, and unfortunately, there are dead. My condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones.
Regarding the consequences of the terrorist attack on the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant. The water level in the Dnipro River is falling, but 30 settlements in Kherson region and 31 settlements in Mykolaiv region remain flooded. More than 3,700 people have already been evacuated. I am very grateful to the rescuers, medics, police and volunteers who are selflessly helping people, often under russian shelling.
We are grateful to our international partners who have already responded to this terrible disaster. 13 countries are providing assistance to Ukraine under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This includes dozens and hundreds of boats, rafts, motor pumps, generators, containers, water tanks and filters, and many other items. We are grateful to the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and other partner countries for their assistance.
The Government of Ukraine has already allocated almost UAH 2.5 billion for water supplies to the South of our country. We are starting the construction of new water mains, assessing the damage and drawing up a list of affected communities, ensuring the supply of drinking water, preparing decisions on payments and compensation to affected Ukrainians.
To this end, today we are adopting a resolution requiring the local authorities of Kherson region to organise the inspection of damaged buildings and structures. Special commissions and sufficient staff must be set up to quickly inspect the destruction, and calculations must be made on the appropriate amount of compensation to restore people’s homes.
We are also working to create a recovery architecture. The Government has already established the position of Deputy Prime Minister for Restoration, the relevant ministry and state agency. A special fund to deal with the consequences of the aggression has been created in the budget. We understand that the recovery programme is a priority for the state and for all of us.
That is why today the Government has decided to continue this work: we are creating the position of deputy for recovery in 8 ministries and 12 regions. This position will allow for a qualitative approach to the planning of reconstruction projects and programmes, as well as create additional responsibility, transparency and accountability for the reconstruction of Ukraine.
One of the five recovery priorities we have identified is the recovery of our economy. According to preliminary estimates, in the first quarter of this year, GDP grew by 2.4% compared to the previous quarter. We are now focusing on creating appropriate and effective incentives for business. Today, we will make a decision that will allow us to extend the UAH 7.8 billion programme of state-financed portfolio guarantees. This is one of the concessional loan schemes, where the state covers up to 80% of an entrepreneur’s bank loan.
The 5-7-9 concessional loan programme is also continuing, with loans worth more than UAH 115 billion granted during the full-scale war. This is a significant resource that has kept thousands of Ukrainian businesses afloat.
The eRobota programme of non-repayable grants is also in place. More than 4,500 grants have already been issued, which means thousands of new businesses and jobs. During the last, eighth wave, 228 new grants were issued. We are continuing the programme so that as many Ukrainians as possible have the opportunity to start their own business.
We will survive. We will win. We will rebuild. Thank you all for your work. Glory to Ukraine!