U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a roundtable with finance ministers from borrower and shareholder countries at the International Monetary Fund Building, in Washington
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen holds a roundtable with finance ministers from borrower and shareholder countries to discuss "ways to maintain momentum to evolve the multilateral development banks to better meet current challenges" at the International Monetary Fund Building, in Washington, D. Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday called for continued significant aid to Ukraine as it battles against Russia's invasion, and lauded Ukrainian authorities for their focus on good governance and anti-corruption.

Yellen, who paid a surprise visit to Kyiv in February, spoke at the start of a ministerial meeting on Ukraine during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal also spoke.

"Supporting Ukraine is a collective effort. We welcome the efforts by our allies and partners to provide significant, predictable, and timely assistance, and urge all of us to continue doing so," Yellen said.

A senior Treasury official on Monday said the United States has provided close to $50 billion in assistance to Ukraine over the past year, including over $23 billion in budget support to keep government services running.

Yellen said Zelenskiy's government had "provided a steady hand for Ukraine amid Russia's horrific war," with economic activity recovering and critical services being provided.

"Your commitment to making sure that international assistance is being used responsibly is essential," she said.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, who also visited Ukraine, said Ukraine had done a remarkable job in restoring energy facilities destroyed by Russia, while keeping the country running and helping businesses keep operating.

"The country is performing remarkably well under the most devastating of circumstances," she said. "And that is why it has the confidence of its people and it has the confidence of the international community."

Shmyhal and Zelenskiy thanked donor countries for their support and initial investments in reconstruction projects.

"This assistance is unprecedented and we greatly appreciate it. But Ukraine's losses and expenses are unprecedented too," Shmyhal told the meeting, citing a recent report estimating it would cost $411 billion to rebuild Ukraine's economy, or 2.6 times its expected 2022 gross domestic product.

The number, calculated by the World Bank, United Nations, European Commission and Ukraine, was up sharply from an estimate of $349 billion released last September.

Shmyhal said Ukraine needed to attract $14 billion in donor aid by the end of 2023.

Yellen said the United States had plans to provide additional aid through September -- all as grants -- and to support Ukraine's energy security and early recovery efforts, but gave no details.

World Bank President David Malpass, who chaired the meeting, on Tuesday underscored the need for Western European countries to join global institutions in rebuilding Ukraine given the "daunting" size of the needs involved.

Yellen said a recent $15.6 billion lending program agreed by the IMF would anchor international support "in a sound macroeconomic framework and catalyze further reforms essential to Ukraine's recovery."