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UNESCO: $ 1.26 billion cost to restore Ukraine’s damaged science sector

Over 1,400 buildings and 750 pieces of scientific equipment have been damaged or destroyed in Ukraine. Besides, the displacement of researchers & budget cuts have dealt a severe blow to Ukraine’s scientific output.
scientific equipment
Damaged scientific equipment due to Russian aggression on Ukraine. Credit: Killeen Daily Herald
UNESCO: $ 1.26 billion cost to restore Ukraine’s damaged science sector

According to a study released by UNESCO, restoring Ukraine’s public scientific infrastructure will cost over $1.26 billion.

Some 1,443 buildings belonging to 177 scientific institutions have been damaged or destroyed since the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the UNESCO report states. Restoring these buildings will cost more than $1.21 billion.

The study reveals that 750 pieces of scientific equipment have been damaged, with 643 items damaged beyond repair. According to the report, “The total cost to restore this essential research equipment is estimated at $45.9 million.”

Ukraine’s scientific output has been significantly affected by the displacement of researchers and budget cuts.

“Since 2021, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, representing 450 affiliated institutes, has seen a 48% reduction in its budget,” the report said.

“Gross domestic expenditure on research and development shrank by 38.5% between 2021 and 2022, from $2019.5 million to $1242.1 million.”

The study highlights the situation concerning the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants near Zaporizhzhia, where “Essential equipment for monitoring the state of the nuclear industry has been stolen or destroyed, including a unique radiological laboratory which controls radiation levels.”

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, stressed the importance of supporting Ukraine’s scientific community, saying, “Scientists, engineers, and other experts will be essential to the country’s recovery, not to mention what this sector represents as a valuable source of innovation and discovery for the rest of the world.”

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