The World Bank on Thursday announced to have approved a financing of about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for three new projects in Ukraine to help the crisis-hit country carry out the critical reforms and build infrastructure. The financing of the three projects, with approval of the World Bank Board, is part of the bank's overall assistance to Ukraine announced in March. The World Bank announced in March to provide the country with up to 3.5 billion U.S. dollars by the end of this year. "The Ukrainian authorities have developed a comprehensive program of reforms, which they are committed to undertake with support from the World Bank Group," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "We are stepping up our assistance to Ukraine because we want to help improve the lives of people in the country and to achieve economic recovery at a crucial time. The country's leaders are determined to improve public services and back much-needed reforms, and we are determined to help them." Nearly half of the newly approved financing -- 750 million U.S. dollars -- is to support high-priority reform measures, such as efforts to fight corruption in the public sector and the reform of inefficient and inequitable utility subsidies while protecting the poor, said the World Bank. The Bank will also offer 382 million U.S. dollars to support improvements in heating energy efficiency and another 350 million U.S. dollars to fund upgrades of water and solid waste services. The new investments bring the World Bank's current lending portfolio to Ukraine to 3.39 billion U.S. dollars.