The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) has launched a credit union lending programme to support the sector in war-torn Ukraine.
Backed with US$500,000 from WFCU’s Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, the programme will be run with the support of two United (Central) Credit Unions (UCUs) in Ukraine.
The UCUs will pass the funding to individual credit unions so they can provide loans and stimulate rural and agricultural business recovery while supporting vulnerable populations.
The programme is part of WFCU’s Resilience Initiative, run in cooperation with the USAID/Woccu Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project. The Resilience Initiative lending will target businesses owned by women, people who have been internally displaced or who have returned to the country after being forced out by the Russian invasion.
The scheme will also prioritise sustainable finance for micro, small and medium-sized businesses in rural areas.
WFCU figures show that, as of 30 April, credit unions had disbursed 954 agricultural loans totalling $2.3m from the Liquidity Fund under WFCU and CAP Project supervision with 621 of those loans, totalling $1.46m, issued since Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022.
The programme is one of WFCU’s seven relief programmes, totalling over $645,000, to provide immediate assistance to the Ukrainian credit unions and their members.