Report: Israeli Contractors to Help Rebuild in Ukraine

YERUSHALAYIM
Destroyed houses are seen in Irpin, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Israeli contractors could soon lend their Ukrainian counterparts a hand in rebuilding the country, which has suffered significant destruction since the Russian invasion over two months ago, Yisrael Hayom reported.

Yisrael Hayom has learned that the Ukrainian Contractors Association has reached out to the Israel Builders Association asking for assistance in the preparations for the postwar era, effectively inviting its members to take part in the efforts to rebuild Ukraine.

Last week Ukrainian Contractors Association President Lev Partskhaladze and senior officials in his organization held a video conference with their Israeli counterparts, including Israel Builders Association President Raul Srugo, to discuss ways in which Israeli construction companies could take part in the physical rehabilitation of Ukraine.

Kyiv estimates that over 10 million square meters of buildings and infrastructure have been damaged by the fighting. The West will be called upon to assist in the funding of the country’s rehabilitation efforts, but it remains unclear where the funding will come from and to what extent.

Moreover, the move will only be able to come to fruition if Ukraine maintains its independence in the wake of the war.

UCA officials explained that Israel was a natural choice, as local contractors and developers are highly experienced in post-war infrastructure rehabilitation.

The Ukrainians presented senior ACB officials with several issues in which they need help from Israeli companies, including professional and orderly demolition and removal of debris, recycling reusable building materials, operating advanced mechanical equipment, industrial construction, the construction of transportation and urban infrastructure, and urban renewal.

It was reportedly agreed that one Ukrainian city would be selected for a pilot program where Israeli companies will lead the rehabilitation efforts. The future extent to which the Israeli construction industry will be involved in the rehabilitation of the entire country will be determined accordingly.

Formed 15 years ago, the Ukraine Contractors Association unites more than 700 construction companies.

“The fighting has had a dramatic effect on Ukrainian infrastructure,” Partskhaladze told Yisrael Hayom, adding that “15,000 square meters of roads were damaged or partially destroyed, as well as about 5,000 railroads, 350 bridges, close to 2,000 residential buildings – half of them high-rise, close to 400 schools and about 50 hospitals.”

With the fighting ongoing, the full extent of the damage remains unknown, he said, adding that the Russian military “is advancing, destroying entire cities.”

Srugo told Yisrael Hayom that any efforts to rehabilitate postwar Ukraine would not impede the ACB’s ventures in Israel, where housing supplies fall short of meeting demand.

“The problem with construction in Israel does not stem from a lack of working hands or contractors. On the contrary – the problem is a shortage of land and regulatory issues.

“Let us build 100,000 apartments. We know how to build – we have proven it before. Also, those who will travel to Ukraine are the Israeli managers, while workers will continue to build here. This [partnership] will be reflected in the initiative, management, training, the sale of materials, equipment, patents, and technology,” he explained.

Founded in 1949, the Israel Builders Association is the only organization dealing with the Israeli market’s construction, infrastructure, development, and engineering issues, and currently numbers over 2,000 members.

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