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A baby carriage stands on the bridge destroyed during the war on the arterial road from Irpin near Kyiv.


75 years later: What can the Marshall Plan teach us about rebuilding Ukraine?

It’s been 75 years since Secretary of State George C. Marshall implored the United States to help Western Europe rebuild after the devastation of World War II. The result was the Marshall Plan, an economic assistance program that saw the US dole out $14.3 billion dollars (the equivalent of $$150 billion today) to help rebuild Western Europe. Sixteen countries benefited from the program.

Another major reconstruction effort now looms in Europe as the war rages on in Ukraine. So far, Russia’s invasion has cost Ukraine $135 billion dollars worth of damage. It has wiped out 15 years of economic growth, slashed GDP by 29%, and pushed 1.7 million Ukrainians into poverty. Just cleaning up the rubble over the next decade will cost an estimated $5 billion, according to the World Bank.

The war in Ukraine is the most costly military conflict on European soil since the 1940s. So as world leaders plan for its recovery, the Marshall Plan offers a sound model. Back then, the US needed to boost economies – both in Europe and at home – and ward off the expansion of Soviet communism. This time, the stakes for the US are not as high, and the US isn’t the only country in a position to assist Ukraine.

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