On May 21, President Biden signed a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill into law.
It’s not the first large aid package the U.S. government has pledged to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24. That’s left some people asking just how much money the U.S. has contributed.
Bryan emailed VERIFY to ask how much aid countries other than the U.S. have given Ukraine, noting that “it seems like the U.S. is giving far more than all other nations combined.”
Has the U.S. pledged the most aid to Ukraine of any country?
Yes, the U.S. has pledged the most aid to Ukraine of any country.
WHAT WE FOUND
The U.S. has pledged far more aid to Ukraine than any one country has since Russia’s invasion began earlier this year, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy. Between Jan. 24 and May 10, the U.S. pledged about $42.95 billion (the equivalent of 40 billion euros) while all other countries pledged a combined $25.3 billion (23.6 billion euros), the Kiel Institute explained in a working paper.
But when pledged donations are compared against donor countries’ GDPs — a measurement of a country’s total economic output — the U.S. came in fourth, according to the Kiel Institute. Estonia, Latvia and Poland, all countries bordering either Ukraine or Russia, have pledged at least 0.4% of their GDP in aid to Ukraine since Jan. 24 while the U.S. had pledged 0.22% of its GDP in aid to Ukraine by May 10.
Although President Joe Biden didn’t sign the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act into law until May 21, the Kiel Institute included the aid bill in its calculations under the assumption it would become law. The law provides for $40.1 billion in aid “for activities to respond to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.” The Kiel Institute estimated about $23.11 billion of that $40.1 billion will go directly to Ukraine — the rest of that sum will help support American troops in the region, refugees outside of Ukraine and neighboring countries.
The Kiel Institute is a Germany-based research institute for globalization issues. It calculated aid totals through government press releases, news reports and cross-checking of several overview lists of humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine. It noted that incomplete data and inconsistencies between sources created challenges in compiling the data, and thus the research institute’s data is a best estimate.
No other publicly available sources attempt to compile the sum of each country’s pledged aid to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion, but foreign government statements indicate the U.S. has pledged aid at a much greater scale than other countries.
Even before the most recent aid bill, the U.S. pledged at least $8.25 billion in aid to Ukraine through a $13.6 billion Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act embedded within the March 15 Consolidated Appropriations Act. Biden authorized the release of arms and equipment valued about $550 million to Ukraine before that act. On March 24, the Biden Administration announced it was “prepared to provide” more than $1 billion for humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
In comparison, a May 19 press release by the United Kingdom, which is among the countries that have pledged the most aid to Ukraine, announced its most recent aid guarantees to Ukraine were part of the “significant economic, humanitarian and military support the UK has committed to Ukraine, totaling well over $3 billion.”
On May 20, the finance members of the G7, which is a group of the world’s seven largest economies and includes the U.S., said its member countries have provided a combined $19.8 billion of “budget support” for Ukraine in 2022, which is in addition to the military and humanitarian aid the member countries have provided. At the same time, the G7 and international financial institutions agreed to provide $18.4 billion in financial support to Ukraine over the next three months. Approximately $9.6 billion (9 billion euros) of that 18.4 billion comes in the form of loans from the European Commission.
Prior to these loans, the European Commission pledged 5.6 billion euros in combined economic, humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine since Russia’s late-February invasion. It’s working on pledging an additional $536.9 million (500 million euros) in military aid.
While not a full picture of the total aid pledged by either country, both Canada and Germany have recently announced much smaller aid packages than the most recent U.S. contributions. Canada dedicated $395.3 million (500 million Canadian dollars) of its 2022 budget to military aid for Ukraine, and has thus far committed $245 million in humanitarian assistance. Germany announced it was pledging $472.4 million (440 million euros) in humanitarian aid to Ukraine on May 18, and in that same announcement said it was providing “Ukraine and neighboring countries” with protective equipment valued at more than $33.8 million (31.5 million euros).
The Kiel Institute estimated that the U.S. had pledged more aid to Ukraine than the rest of the world combined as of May 10. Although it’s unclear if that’s still true given aid pledges made in May, it is clear that no other country is matching the U.S. in scale of aid pledged.