Ukrainian credit unions will receive three grants worth US$355,000 (£286,556) from the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU), via its Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, to cover the cost of operating expenses, purchase alternative sources of power and recover the unpaid interest on loans.
WFCU, the international development and charitable arm of the World Council of Credit Unions (Woccu), worked with the All-Ukrainian Association of Credit Unions (AUACU) and the Ukrainian National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (UNASCU), both members of Woccu, to determine the key areas of need for the sector.
Ukrainian martial law exempts military personnel from paying interest on loans, which limits the ability of credit unions to provide new lending. Through the WFCU’s Servicemen Interest Compensation Program, Ukrainian credit unions are reimbursed on this lost interest; so far, 42 associated credit unions have applied and received compensation totalling $170,000 (£137,224).
WFCU has also spent $130,000 (£104,936) under its Covering Operational Expenses Program to compensate 75 credit unions for a portion of their operating expenses.
Meanwhile, WFCU’s Alternative Power Sources Program co-financed the purchase of alternative energy sources for credit unions, so they could stay operational during power outages. A total of 91 credit unions each received $600 (£484) toward the purchase of generators, power stations or power banks.
Around 100 credit unions have received grants under these three programmes, representing more than two-thirds of Ukraine’s entire credit union market.
“Thanks to Woccu and WFCU efforts, as well as donations from the global credit co-operative community, Ukrainian credit unions have received invaluable assistance,” wrote Olga Tugai and Volodymyr Sydorovsky, managers of the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association, in their joint letter of appreciation to WFCU. “In these difficult times for our credit unions, the assistance provided has been a significant contribution to the support and preservation of the Ukrainian credit union movement.
“Your support emphasises that all of us, together, make up a large global credit co-operative family.”
The initiatives are part of WFCU’s efforts to support Ukrainian credit unions. WFCU has so far disbursed more than $600,000 (£484,320) from its Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund to assist credit unions, their members and their communities that are struggling during wartime.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by the support of the international credit union community, which has now donated nearly $2m (£1.61m) to the Displacement Fund in less than one year. We will keep looking for ways to provide aid to credit unions during the war, while keeping money on hand for the eventual restoration and rebuilding of Ukraine’s credit union system,” said Mike Reuter, WFCU executive director.
Donations to the fund can be made here.