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Credit for Agriculture Producers Project Hosts Engagement Visit for International Credit Union Experts

CAP Project in Ukraine Aids Rural Areas by Supporting Development of Credit Unions

August 07, 2017

Contact: Eleni Giakoumopoulos
E-mail: egiakoumopoulos@woccu.org
Phone: 608-395-2031
 
Open Forum Team in Kiev, Ukraine

KIEV, Ukraine — The Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project in the Ukraine organized and hosted an engagement visit for international credit union experts, composed of members of World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Global Women’s Leadership Network to Ukraine from July 28 to August 2. Representatives of two national credit union associations, the All-Ukrainian Credit Union Association (AUCUA) and the Ukrainian National Association of Savings and Credit Unions (UNASCU), the credit union sector Regulator in Kiev and local credit unions from several regions in Ukraine participated in the events. The visit was led by Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO and Ewa Sierzynska, the CAP Project’s Chief of Party.  

The CAP Project is a four-year project (2016-2020) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) that is being implemented by World Council for Credit Unions (WOCCU) with oversight and technical assistance from the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). The purpose of the project is to strengthen the credit union sector in Ukraine to improve the quality of the financial services and products offered to farmers and agribusinesses in rural areas in Ukraine.

Global Women's Leadership Network  discussion in Lviv

On July 28, an Open Forum took place in Kiev where almost 50 participants engaged on topics of strategic importance for the credit union sector in the Ukraine and brainstormed new ideas and approaches to alleviate current challenges for credit unions in Ukraine. The Forum, designed as an open dialogue for best practices, knowledge sharing and cross-cultural exchanges, served as a platform to build the international experts’ interest in the project and to further define a path for engaging volunteers on the project, a vital element in the design of the CAP Project. Topics covered during the Forum included: legislative and regulatory reform to support the growth of the credit union sector in Ukraine, improving the national credit union associations’ services provided to their member credit unions, expanding agricultural and business lending to Ukraine’s farmers, and increasing credit union liquidity through effective savings mobilization.

The group of international experts concluded their visit in the Lviv province.  On July 31, the group participated in a roundtable discussion focused on “Strengthening of the credit union system as a key prerequisite for the development of small and medium-sized agricultural production.” Participants spoke with representatives of the credit union sector and local authorities and learned about the unique model of cooperation between credit unions and local authorities that was established in Lviv oblast to boost rural development and provide affordable financing to agribusinesses in the region. Other topics discussed included opportunities to increase liquidity and lending capabilities, leverage capital and mobilize savings.

During their stay in Lviv, the international credit union experts visited “Anisia” and the “Vygoda” credit unions, as well as two of their borrowers – local farmers cultivating agricultural plots and raising dairy cows. These local farmers told impressive stories that revealed their hard work, motivation and success as farming families in rural Ukraine would not be possible without the support of their local credit unions – the only credit institutions in their localities.

Moving forward, the CAP project will facilitate training for partner credit unions across Ukraine by engaging with international credit union professionals to provide the training on savings mobilization, marketing for new members, and in developing effective products for agriculture producers.  



For More Information, Please Contact
Stephanie Grell Azar
WOCCU Program Manager
sgrell@woccu.org


About WOCCU

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235,000,000 people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.


About Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance

Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) is a consortium of 30 member NGOs that generate more prosperity through partnerships that bring together highly skilled volunteers with people around the globe seeking opportunities for self-reliance. Since 2004, VEGA has partnered with the U.S. government on 59 economic growth programs in 47 countries, saving more than $32 million taxpayer dollars and nearly doubling the program value through cost share and leverage, including more than 44,000 days of volunteer service. For more information about VEGA please visit www.vegaalliance.org.

This document was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development. It was prepared by WOCCU for the USAID/Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project in Ukraine, agreement number AID-121-LA-16-00002



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