As of September 1, 2023, the total documented damage inflicted upon Ukraine's infrastructure due to a full-scale invasion has surged to $151.2 billion, according to KSE Institute data. The war continues to wreak havoc on residential buildings, educational institutions, and social infrastructure.
The aggressor persists in causing substantial damage to critical, social, and logistical infrastructure. By the beginning of autumn 2023, the majority of direct losses are attributed to residential property, amounting to $55.9 billion. In total, more than 40 million square meters of housing have been destroyed or damaged as a result of the conflict.
Beyond residences, the list of affected, destroyed, or seized objects includes 621 kindergartens, 1123 educational institutions, 643 medical facilities, 228 factories and enterprises, 295 bridges and crossings, 12 military airfields, and 11 civilian airports. Among the regions most affected by destruction are Donetsk, Kyiv, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Kherson, and Zaporizhia.
*10 most affected regions of Ukraine, $ billion
As of February 2023
Source: Kyiv School of Economics
Rebuilding infrastructure during or after armed conflicts poses a complex challenge. Moreover, this task is complicated by the continuous cycle of damages and the need to assess the feasibility of repairs amid evolving circumstances on the front lines. At the same time, many have come to the realization that this war will be prolonged, requiring Ukrainians to adapt to new conditions. Hence, the restoration of critical infrastructure in liberated areas is an urgent task.
Ukrainian children on the playground in the yard of School No. 134 in Kharkiv. This school was destroyed during Russian shelling on February 27, 2022. September 4, 2023.
Photo: Heidi Levine for The Washington Post / Getty Images
Key Objectives and Project Methodology
The UA Brokers Without Borders team has decided to focus this project on repairs of light and medium complexity, aimed at restoring infrastructure damaged by shelling (schools, kindergartens, hospitals).
Obtaining accurate information about the number of end-users currently residing in the community is crucial. Therefore, the collection and processing of statistical information are our top priorities in the initial stages of project organization. Preference will be given to communities where the functioning of social infrastructure is a critical necessity-meaning the needs of local residents and internally displaced persons can only be met with the presence of this infrastructure. Support will primarily be extended to small settlements in the most vulnerable communities. The process of organizing technical supervision of repair work will involve double-blind control and photo-video documentation at all stages
Why This Is Crucial:
Ensuring the quality of life for community residents to preserve human potential locally and prevent permanent migration abroad;
Supporting local communities for the restoration of socio-economic development;
Restoring access to education and children's development in accordance with state standards;
Ensuring community access to healthcare by supporting the proper functioning of healthcare facilities;
Balancing the lack of state funding during the active phase of hostilities.
In the initial project phase, our team focused on preparing medical facilities for winter. Ongoing rocket attacks have led to damage to almost every 10th hospital in the country. Following these attacks, vital healthcare institutions were forced to rely on makeshift solutions, such as cardboard, plastic films, particleboard, or other materials that cannot provide adequate insulation and result in significant heat loss. Additionally, many institutions require the replacement of old wooden windows due to natural wear and tear of the structure and very low indicators of thermal and sound insulation.
As of now, we have successfully replaced 1972 windows in 26 hospitals (Kyiv and Chernihiv regions) and provided 1800 OSB boards to cover broken windows in 18 hospitals (Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, Donetsk regions).
Currently, we are actively working on a project to rebuild kindergartens in the most war-affected regions (Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy, Kyiv, Mykolaiv regions). Due to forced displacement, the destruction of kindergartens, power outages, air raids, and military actions, a portion of Ukrainian children cannot fully develop. The restoration and provision of access for preschoolers to kindergartens must happen here and now, as parents need to work and continue to ensure the well-being of their families. According to the "War and Education: How a Year of Full-Scale Invasion Has Affected Ukrainian Schools" study (https://saved.foundation/reports/ua/yearofwar_report_ua.pdf), almost every school or kindergarten that suffered destruction had damaged windows and doors, as well as destroyed roofs or roofing. It is precisely on these types of repair work that we have chosen to focus.