Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced 18% of Ukraine's economy to completely shut down, resulting in a national loss of more than US $600 billion to date.
That was just some of the information Oleksandr Plodysti, Ukraine's Consul General to Gdansk, Poland, relayed to World Council of Credit Unions’ President/CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde during an April 22 meeting hosted by Poland’s National Association of Cooperative Savings and Credit Unions (NACSCU).
Plodysti said those economic losses are due to the death and displacement of Ukrainian civilians, as well as the physical devastation of Ukraine. Citing figures compiled the the Ukrainian government, Plodysti said Russian forces have destroyed at least:
Those economic impacts are weighing on credit unions in Ukraine. Executives of credit unions that partner with World Council's Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project have told us the death, displacement and destruction is causing a liquidity issue for them, as many of their members simply are not in a position to pay back loans, while others are withdrawing savings a high rate.
In partnership with NACSCU President and World Council Board Chair Rafal Matusiak, McCarter LaBorde spent part of the week examining ways to help Ukrainian credit unions mitigate those liquidity concerns.
A need for food security
With World Council providing agricultural lending support to more than 20 Ukrainian credit unions through our CAP Project, McCarter LaBorde also talked with Plodysti about ways we can continue to provide more support to Ukrainian farmers through our partner credit unions.
Plodysti provided McCarter LaBorde with a recent letter the Ukrainian Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food sent to the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture that outlines the greatest needs of the country’s 25,000 farmers. Specifically, the Ministry indicated a need for:
World Council last week also held separate meetings in Poland with USAID and the United Nations Office for the Office of Coordinated Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA) about future opportunities to support Ukrainian agricultural needs through credit unions.
For more on World Council's April 19-22 trip to Poland, visit its Ukrainian Crisis Response Blog.