What is the Marshall Plan?


(NewsNation) — In the years after World War II, aid meant to help Europe recover was given through a program called The Marshall Plan, with $13 billion coming from the United States.

With the Russian attacks on Ukraine causing devastation across the country and what the U.N. is calling the largest refugee crisis of this century, there might be a similar rebuilding strategy in the works. It’s a topic that could come up at the quickly approaching NATO summit, set for Thursday in Brussels.

While at the summit, U.S. President Joe Biden will talk face-to-face with European leaders about the Russia-Ukraine war and attend a European Council meeting, where efforts to impose sanctions and extend humanitarian efforts are underway.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has agreed to the idea of a Marshall Plan that would rebuild Ukraine’s economy and prevent a new famine, funded in part with money seized from Russian oligarchs. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has also said Ukraine needs a Marshall Plan.

“Our support for the (Ukrainian) people’s fight for freedom will continue,” Lindner said. “Our solidarity with our European neighbor has a lasting basis and that’s why we need an international Marshall Plan for Ukraine.”

The Marshall Plan helped rebuild western European cities and infrastructure bombed during World War II, while also removing any trading barriers between the nations involved so Europe’s economy could rebound faster.

It also helped end a major famine that started in the aftermath of the war, when fields were bombed and citizens’ food supply was cut off.

All of this caused the fastest period of growth in European history— a 55% increase in industrial production and a 37% rise in agricultural production.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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