A $100,000 loan reimbursement program made possible by Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions’ (WFCU) Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund has already provided targeted aid to 100 farmers facing a food security crisis brought on by Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine.
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Since the program was launched in June through the World Council of Credit Unions' Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project and Ridnia, a Ukrainian NGO, 100 farmers have been reimbursed on 10% of their principal payments for agricultural loans they took out at Ukrainian credit unions from February 24 to April 30. These types of loans typically average 50,000 UAH (US $1,700).
Podolska Persha Fermerska Kredytna Spilka (PPFKS), a credit union headquartered in the western Ukrainian city of Kamianets-Podilskyi that partners with the CAP Project, specializes in providing affordable agricultural loans through a simple application process.
Two PPFKS member farmers who received loans from the credit union since the start of the war have already benefitted from the reimbursement program.
Boris Sohatiuk, who runs a poultry farm, faced a significant increase in feed and transportation costs, along with a reduction in poultry sales due to the war. That combination contributed to a loss in profits.
“Nevertheless, thanks to the compensation (reimbursement) received, I was able to fulfill my credit liabilities faster," said Sohatiuk.
For Volodymyr Prysiazhnyi, who grows soy and buckwheat on his 20-acre plot of land, the war caused an increase in fuel costs and uncertainty about future sales prices. But he managed to stay afloat due to the reimbursement fund and remains optimistic.
“Such support from the global credit cooperative community inspires hope for the future," said Prysiazhnyi.
The next stage of the program will provide reimbursement to farmers who received agricultural loans from Ukrainian credit unions between May 1 and June 30.
The $100,000 made available through the program is expected to reimburse at least 585 farmers. ■