Since the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, credit unions that partner with World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Credit for Agriculture Producers' (CAP) Project have issued over 1,100 agricultural loans totaling nearly $2 million—accounting for more than 80% of all agricultural loans issued by Ukrainian credit unions.
That was one of the facts brought to light in late December when CAP virtually gathered its partner credit unions to present the results of their FY22 activities and discuss the agribusiness lending performance of credit unions.
Sixteen of 21 CAP partner credit unions remain active amid Russia’s full-scale war. Their assets make up 40% of all credit union assets in Ukraine.
Along with presenting results of completed activities and those ongoing in response to the war during the meeting, the CAP team also focused on examining necessary changes in workplans due to the conditions in place under martial law— including several CAP-implemented aid programs aimed at supporting credit union member agricultural producers.
A total of 22 credit unions participated in two programs launched by CAP and Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions. Thirteen of those credit unions are CAP workgroup partners. Under the programs, over 17,000 gallons of free diesel fuel were provided for free to credit union member farmers and more than US $70,000 were disbursed to credit union member micro-agribusiness producers to compensate them for up to 10% of their loan principles. In total, over 1,200 agricultural producers have already received support under these programs.
CAP leaders also provided recommendations to help the credit unions withstand the war and continue to serve their members in 2023. The recommendations, based on international best practices and adjusted to suit Ukrainian credit unions, included:
- A Credit Union Business Continuity Plan Template, based on materials developed by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues (USA).
- The Basics of Cyber Protection and Cyber Hygiene in Credit Unions, based on materials provided by the State Service of Special Communications and the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity.
Despite the ongoing war and the numerous power outages that resulted from it during the year, CAP partner credit unions managed to adapt and support their communities, including farmers, other rural populations and the underserved.
As the war continues, CAP partner credit unions will need further support to maintain lending during the upcoming agricultural season. CAP and its partners used the planning session to prepare for that, setting other priorities for 2023, which include helping credit unions introduce value chain finance, improving liquidity management capacity and training credit union staff on environmental and social governance risks.