The National Cooperative Union of India released a statement on the role of cooperatives and the apex union in responding to the COVID-19 related challenges. The first initiative of Indian cooperators from across the country is to support the Prime Minister’s clarion call to observe a self-imposed ‘Janata (public) curfew’ on Sunday 22nd March and restrict their movement to very essential activities.
The Centrosoyuz of Russia is delivering basic goods and medicine to elderly and disabled people in most regions of Russia and essential goods to people living in remote and rural areas in self-isolation by means of ‘avtolavka’ (COOP food trucks). Regional cooperative unions worked in close cooperation with regional emergency response centers to assist in preventing the spreading of virus and contribute to stable food supply and monitoring of prices and distance learning for students of educational organisations of consumer cooperatives.
Turkey’s Central Union of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives took a series of measures to protect its members against COVID-19 and helped primary cooperatives continue their grassroots work. All enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings carried out throughout the country have been suspended as of 30 April 2020. The union offered flexibility on loan payments. A force majeure note was recorded in the Register in the Risk Center to address farmers credit debt. Loan principal and interest amounts set to expire in April and May will be postponed for 2 months without interest.
Singapore-based NTUC Income announced that over 500,000 employees of organisations insured by its Group Employee Benefits policies will receive COVID-19 coverage at no additional premium. NTUC FairPrice Cooperative (FairPrice) supplied food and daily necessities.
National Federation of University Cooperatives Association in Japan actively provided updates using social media, enabling connections all students – new and senior students. Sales have remained steady this year, nevertheless, when the university re-opens in the future, they will have to operate cafeterias, stores and other areas with safety measures in place to avoid crowding. Thus, the number of users will be greatly reduced. This poses a challenge to NFUCA.
Bulgaria’s Central Cooperative Union acted fast and created an online platform called COOP CARE to facilitate immediate requests of essential food products and PPE, and to keep the cooperative community abreast on the development of the pandemic. In their testimonial, the CCU-Bulgaria expressed gratitude to Italian cooperatives that delivered disinfectants and cleaning detergents for consumption throughout Bulgaria.