Kharkiv’s transport infrastructure, which has been destroyed by Russian attacks, will be rebuilt with funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The funds will be provided as a technical assistance grant from the EIB-managed Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF), the CFTS portal reports, citing the Raport Kolejowy publication.

"We need to be ready to start rebuilding Ukraine on the first day it wins this war. This means we need to start preparing reconstruction plans right now," said EIB Vice President Teresa Czerwińska, who is in charge of EIB operations in Ukraine.

The technical assistance grant will support Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, in conducting the necessary preparations to purchase a new tram fleet and reconstruct the war-ravaged tram infrastructure.

According to Kharkiv Mayor of Kharkiv Ihor Terekhov, this will be a major renewal and expansion of the tram system, which the city has not performed for 30 years.

The Kharkiv City Council and the Saltivske Tram Depot municipal enterprise are involved in the project.

The main aim of the planned project is to upgrade tram services in the city by procuring new trams and modernizing war-torn and worn-out track, systems, and depot infrastructure. The preparations will be financed by a EUR-400,000 technical assistance grant funded by the EIB-managed EPTATF.

"The signing of this EUR 400,000 EPTATF grant is the right step in this direction, which allows us to review and modernize public transport planning in Ukraine, and create modern, efficient, safer, and green mobility for Kharkiv," Czerwińska said.

Following the technical preparations, and once conditions allow the works to start, the EIB will consider financing the entire project, which will help the city rebuild and improve the quality and sustainability of public transport service.

The modernization of the tram infrastructure is a vital part of the master plan to rebuild Kharkiv and its Urban Electric Surface Transport Development Program for the period of 2021-2025, which had already been approved before the war.

According to the publication, the EIB has a long history of supporting the modernization of transport infrastructure in Kharkiv. The portfolio of EIB-supported projects includes a EUR-160-million loan to extend and upgrade the Kharkiv subway, signed in 2017. The EIB also provided a EUR-10-million loan to Kharkiv to upgrade its trolleybus fleet and EUR 45 million to purchase new metro cars in 2020 under the Ukraine Urban Public Transport Project (UUPTP) framework loan.