New insurance scheme to facilitate UK business supporting Ukraine

London: The UK signed a Statement of Intent on a European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) war-risk insurance scheme for Ukraine. The EBRD’s effort, along with complementary backing by other international financial institutions, over time will help UK companies to do business in Ukraine and support its reconstruction.

Ukraine is facing a major challenge to rebuild following Russia’s illegal invasion, with the World Bank estimating it will cost $411 billion. Private sector companies are crucial to that, with architects, engineers, and construction companies need to rebuild bridges for example, but many currently struggle to get the insurance they need to be able to operate in the country.

The UK is leading the world in trying to address this by improving access to war-risk insurance. It follows the Ukraine Recovery Conference, hosted by the Prime Minister earlier this year, during which we coordinated international partners to announce the London Conference Framework to address the insurance gap.

Speaking ahead of the signing, Business and Trade Minister The Earl of Minto said: “UK businesses have the expertise and desire to help Ukraine rebuild. But too often a lack of insurance prevents our world-class architects, engineers or lawyers, from doing that, and hinders Ukraine’s recovery.

That’s where Government comes in – we are committed to breaking down the barriers that get in the way of UK companies offering their expertise. Today’s signing is another step forward in our ongoing support for Ukraine on this issue.”

The EBRD’s scheme development will provide new support for boosting the provision of insurance against war-related risks in Ukraine. It was galvanised by the London Conference Framework and is intended to kick-start insurance, firstly for the transport of cargo vital via trucks to keeping trade flowing, with a view to expanding it to cover more sectors as the scheme matures.

Business and Trade Minister The Earl of Minto will sign the Statement today alongside EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. They will also discuss next steps to increase the availability of war-risk insurance even further.

EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “We are very grateful for the UK’s interest in facilitating the provision of insurance against war-related risks in Ukraine. Relying on traditional risk-transfer mechanisms in the insurance industry, the EBRD and its partners seek to build a sustainable solution, which will bring relief to the domestic economy and protect trade activities.

Encouraging the EBRD’s scheme is just one of the many ways the UK is showing its support for the reconstruction of Ukraine.

The UK’s non-military support to Ukraine since the start of invasion comes to £4.7bn. This includes over £4.1bn in fiscal support, and over £640m in bilateral assistance.

The signing comes ahead of the upcoming Rebuild Ukraine Conference and UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce meeting in Warsaw, led by Minister for Industry Nusrat Ghani, which will provide a key moment for the UK and Ukraine to discuss and agree priority reconstruction projects.

Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani said: “As co-chair of the UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce with Deputy PM Kubrakov, I’m immensely proud of what the UK and Ukraine have already achieved together – from delivering major conferences to encourage private sector investment, to signing a digital free trade agreement critical to supporting jobs and livelihoods. I am also proud to have delivered the war risk insurance package.

The UK is a key partner for Ukraine and we remain committed to providing the crucial support it needs as it continues to rebuild its infrastructure and economy.

Today also marks techUK and IT Ukraine’s Ukraine Tech Day which is raising awareness of areas for further cooperation between the tech sector and government in the UK and Ukraine. Ukraine Tech Day is placing specific focus on defence tech, cyber security, ed tech and skills, and the startup community. It comes following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement of the UK-Ukraine TechBridge, which will launch in the next couple of months and will bring together the UK and Ukrainian tech sectors to harness opportunities for innovation and collaboration.