Issues Home About Contact Us Issue 30 - July 2024 عربى
International Developments

Innovation to Rebuild Ukraine

An initiative to resource the reconstruction of Ukraine villages has involved Canada’s appropriation of Russian assets and a civil initiative to realize that objective. The Peace Coalition, an international, non-profit association of NGOs, academic institutions and independent experts in housing, land and property (HLP) restitution, is developing a comprehensive package of policy, technology and practical guidance aimed at restoring peace by putting a price on war in the hopes of deterring future conflict.

The conflict with Russia has displaced one third of Ukraine`s total population, some 14 million, forced to flee to safer areas within Ukraine or across borders to neighboring countries. Ukrainians have been displaced by the Russian invasion, and millions have had their homes damaged or destroyed. The Ukrainian government faces the monumental task of repatriating these millions of returnees back into their homes, or compensating them. Estimates of the cost to rebuild Ukraine, provide compensation to victims, and return to normal economic capacity range from $349 billion to over $1 trillion.

These divergent figures are the result of macro assessments that cover entire sectors. However, more specific assessments may be more representative of real losses, costs and damage. For examples, quantifying the values at stake in the breach of the Kakhovka Dam by Russian bombing is one such exercise reported in HIC-HLRN’s annual World Habitat Day report for 2023. That disaster alone inflicted almost €13 billion in economic loss and damage. The initial estimate for total recovery and reconstruction needs after the Kakhovka Dam breach was $5.04 billion, but that figure is expected to grow as more detailed assessments are conducted. For the housing sector alone, total damage is estimated at US$1.101 to US$1.502 billion.

The government of Ukraine is running a monthly budget deficit of $3­–5 billion. This deficit was forecast to be $38 billion for 2023, leaving the government without sufficient funds to provide compensation to war crimes victims, or to begin the process of rebuilding damaged and destroyed HLP and public infrastructure.

While Ukraine lacks financial resources, in November 2022 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution recommending the creation of a register to document damages caused by the Russian Federation and for the aggressor to financially compensate Ukraine for widespread property damage.

The initiative has proposed cooperation with the International Development Division of Global Affairs Canada to distribute and manage acquired Russian assets for reconstruction in Ukraine through a pilot project to carry out a mass HLP claims and restitution process, supported by advanced new technologies and modern urban master planning. It will put theory into practice by conducting rebuilding projects in war-affected towns and villages across Ukraine.

The Peace Coalition’s effort manifested in an inaugural ReNew and ReBuild Ukraine Conference in Kyiv and online, in association with the International Relations at Taras Shevchenko University, on 17 April 2024. The conference brought together more than 150 attendees and over 20 presenters and panelists, sharing experiences along three substantive tracks:

Section 1 - Financing reparations for Ukraine (introduced by Canadian Senator Ratna Omidvar)

Section 2 - Geopolitical dynamics and the Western view of Ukraine`s recovery (introduced by former Justice Minister and Canadian Ambassador to the UN Allan Rock)

Section 3 - A Sustainable and Inclusive Roadmap for the Recovery of Ukraine (introduced by MP Ryan Turnbull)

The deliberations offer much to learn for HLP restitution both in Ukraine and across regions. You can view the conference here

Photo: Drone footage shows the extent to which Russian forces have destroyed the village of Andriivka, in the Kyiv region. Source: Sky News.


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