German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said a Marshall Plan will be needed to rebuild Ukraine.
Olaf Scholz said in a government speech that his recent visit to Ukraine reminded him of the widespread destruction that had characterized many cities in Germany after World War II.
“Like war-torn Europe then, Ukraine needs a Marshall Plan for reconstruction today,” the chancellor said.
What was the Marshall Plan
In 1947, then-US Secretary of State George C. Marshall suggested the establishment of the European Recovery Program (ERP) to help rebuild much of war-torn Europe. Today, this scheme is known as the Marshall Plan.
The program required the United States to provide loans to finance European reconstruction efforts, but also to import goods, raw materials and food into Europe. More than $ 12 billion (about $ 150 billion today) was provided in 16 countries – including West Germany, Italy, France and the United Kingdom – between 1948 and 1952.
This funding not only triggered Europe’s economic recovery, but also opened up new markets for the United States.
But the Marshall Plan also had a political dimension. Not all European countries have received money from the US. While America wanted to limit Soviet influence in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union banned Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland from joining the Marshall Plan, fearing US control of the region.
In Europe, the Marshall Plan is remembered as a successful program that helped rebuild the continent. It triggered economic recovery, but also helped democratic structures take root in Europe. That is why, after various wars and crises in the world, many pointed to the Marshall Plan as a good example of post-war reconstruction.
What a Marshall Plan would mean for Ukraine
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expects the war in Ukraine not to end too soon. As the Marshall Plan was originally aimed at long-term reconstruction, the official says the West should expect Ukraine’s recovery to take longer.
“We will need many billions of euros and dollars for reconstruction for years to come,” he said.
Scholz added that he wants Ukraine to continue to receive European support in financial, economic, humanitarian and political terms, as well as “arms deliveries”.
Werner Hoyer, head of the European Investment Bank, expects financial aid of billions of euros for Ukraine. He said a program was needed to target “a global audience rather than EU taxpayers”.
And the European Union has suggested that reconstruction efforts be coordinated by Ukraine with the EU, G7 and G20 states, as well as with international financial institutions and organizations.