More than 17,000 gallons of diesel fuel is being distributed to credit union member farmers in Ukraine free of charge, as part of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) ongoing relief activities there.
Fuel remains in scarce supply in Ukraine due to Russia’s continued aggression, which means the price of diesel also continues to increase. Under the Fuel Disbursement Program, WFCU tapped its Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund to purchase $100,000 worth of diesel from Ukrainian national fuel station chain OKKO, and provided a total of 1,329 free fuel coupons to Ukrainian small- and medium-sized farmers who took out agricultural loans at credit unions that partner with the USAID/WOCCU Credit for Agriculture Producers (CAP) Project.
One hundred and sixty-three farmers with loans through 15 CAP-associated credit unions in Ukraine were able to access the coupons, allowing them to get the fuel just in time to sow their winter crops. Those farmers are responsible for taking out 30% of all agricultural loans issued by Ukrainian credit unions since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion on February 24.
“In these difficult times for our country, even under Russia’s constant shelling, Ukrainian farmers continue to operate and care about our food security. As credit unions, we are happy we can support them, not only through the needed finance, but also—thanks to our international partners and friends—to ensure they have diesel for the autumn harvest season,” said Mr. Volodymyr, CEO of Credit Union Anisia, who provided diesel fuel coupons to 27 member farmers.
The Fuel Disbursement program is the second of two relief initiatives designed to help credit union member farmers in Ukraine through WFCU’s Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund.
Through an account set up in collaboration with Ridnia, a Ukrainian NGO, another $100,000 grant was disbursed in June to reimburse eligible CAP-partner credit union member farmers on 10% of their agricultural loan principal payments. To date, $50,000 from that account has been distributed to repay 10% of the principal on loans for 615 member farmers.
WFCU in March awarded a $50,000 Displacement Fund grant to the Podolian Agency for Regional Development (PARD), a Ukrainian non-governmental organization that is providing humanitarian assistance to hundreds of refugees from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Kherson, Melitopol and other cities who are seeking refuge in the Vinnytsia region of western Ukraine. PARD used part of the WFCU grant to assemble a temporary shelter, and is also working to purchase and deliver food, water, medicine, bedding and other supplies to internally displaced Ukrainians.
To donate to the Ukrainian Credit Union Displacement Fund, click here.