ICA-AP Member response to COVID-19

Country Assistance type Member response


Facilitating coop collaboration

BCCM is recording and archiving the activities of Australian cooperatives in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. See their stories here https://bccm.coop/bccm-members-take-action-on-covid-19/.

Facilitating communication and knowledge sharing

Capricorn Society is managing supply chain issues related to automotive repair and maintenance products. They organised an online member community platform: The Workshop in 2017. The Workshop now includes a COVID-19 community support forum for sharing of ideas and responses.


Provision of equipment

The All China Federation of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives (ACFSMC) has provided necessary equipment to assist the staff of the Sri Lanka Consumer Cooperative Societies Federation Limited.


Food distribution

NAFEDwill distribute 6 lakh metric tonnes of pulses to nearly 20 crore households for 3 months under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. NAFED is also expected to lift un-milled pulses from godowns and warehousing corporations to get them milled for transportation to different states under the National Food Security Act.


Financial assistance; infrastructure for isolation wards

NCUI has offered its hostel as a coronavirus isolation ward. All employees have also donated 1 day salaries to the PM CARES Fund. The cooperative sector in India is estimated to have contributed around $6 million to the Prime Minister CARES Fund, along with contributions and assistance to the state level relief funds. The National Federation of Urban Cooperative Bank and Credit Societies has asked all urban cooperative banks to contribute 2% of their net profits to relief funds.

Many of NCUIs Cooperative Education Field Projects across the country have distributed masks, educated people on precautionary measures, and arranged for food distribution through community kitchens. Cooperative banks and sugar factories have installed disinfectant tunnels to protect their employees and customers; Cooperative banks have also enabled door-to-door cash facilities through mobile ATMs


Financial assistance; distribution of protective gear and hygiene essentials

IFFCO contributed $3.6 million to the PM CARES Fund: IFFCO responds to COVID-19 containment efforts; Provision of masks, soaps and other protective gear to farmers and labourers; more than 1000 relief/ awareness programmes have been organised during the lockdown; ensuring that production units and agricultural supply chain remain functional so that farmers don’t face plant-nutrient deficiency and last-mile delivery constraints of products. IFFCO has also been supplying fertilizer to farmers at their doorstep through mobile vans.


Moratorium on loan instalments

NAFCARD member organisations are in the financial services sector, and as an essential service category in India, their work continues. They have extended a moratorium on all loan instalments to their clients for a period of 3 months (1st March-31st May, 2020).


Awareness and knowledge dissemination; provision of essential hygiene products (sanitizers, masks, etc.)

NAFSCOB has advised all its state, district and rural cooperative banks to play an active role in creating awareness among the farmers and customers of the bank – to prevent, arrest and contain the spread of COVID-19. They have provided sanitizers, hand wash and masks in all bank premises for use by staff and customers. All state and district banks have donated to the PM CARES Fund and the Chief Ministers’ Emergency Relief Funds.

Cooperative Banks have granted a moratorium of 3 months on payment of instalments on loans between 1st March-31st May, 2020.


Social assistance to migrant labourers

The Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (ULCCS) has chartered 3 private buses to take 156 migrant workers back home to West Bengal before the lockdown began. Workers staying back in Kerala have food and accommodation through ULCCS, even though work remains suspended.


Distribution of medical supplies and food

The SEWA Cooperative Federation food and health kids among members- informal women workers. It also offers direct cash transfer for sustenance.


Production and donation of medical supplies and other initiatives

The health cooperative SEWA Lok Swasthya is manufacturing low cost hand sanitizers and making low cost masks. It is also providing food to children and elderly people and disseminating communication material to spread awareness on social distancing and other preventive measures.


DEKOPIN has formed three task forces in key areas: 1). To provide medical equipment for hospitals which are at the frontline in fighting the outbreak; 2). To identify and collect data for cooperatives which are affected by COVID-19, in terms of business, decreased livelihood, employment; 3) To mobilise social solidarity funding, particularly of the Islamic Social Fund during the holy Ramadan month to help vulnerable people.


Production of masks and isolation gowns; social assistance through cleansing and disinfection of public amenities; online education services

Women co-operators in Iran at the forefront of campaign against COVID-19


Distribution of essentials to hospitals

Rah-e-Roshd has been collecting, organising, and distributing the essentials that are needed by hospitals and healthcare centres. However, as far as Rah-e-Roshd's own challenges are concerned, they are facing the big challenge of sustaining their human resources.


Facilitating information sharing and compensation requests

HeW Coop: HeW Coop Japan set up a task force on February 19. Basic information on prevention, such as hand washing, was also shared. They collect information on member cooperatives by phone or e-mail; Respond to requests from member cooperatives - HeW Coop Japan submitted requests to the national government and political parties through Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union (JCCU) regarding difficulties and challenges in the healthcare and welfare businesses. Compensation based on the period of suspension and the expected number of service users; compensation for medical institutions which provide outpatient services for those who returned to Japan or who had a close contact with the infected; establishment of conditions to secure resources such as face masks, protective suits, goggles and gloves for medical institutions and nursing-care facilities.


Providing essential goods

The Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union (JCCU) has been striving to make essentials such as food and hygiene products available to all members. Consumers’ coops which operate or support food banks and children’s cafeterias (places to offer free or low-priced foods to economically disadvantaged children) provide foods for children and people in need and livelihood support centres. They have also conducted a questionnaire survey of co-op members to clarify the impacts of COVID-19 on their lives and purchasing behaviours (valid responses: 6,349 members of 10 consumer cooperatives nationwide). Read more on efforts by Japanese consumers’ coops here: https://jccu.coop/eng/news//



JA Zenchu conducted an emergency survey for JAs and federations nationwide. They summarized the impact on agriculture, rural areas, and JA and made necessary requests to the government.


Videos for making masks

The Ie-no-Hikari Association, a publishing association established by JAs, has created videos of handicrafts for children staying home (about 10 videos, each about 3 minutes long), a video of how to make masks, and ones of recipes for drinks using milk, whose consumption has declined due to school shutdown. The videos are posted on YouTube.


Task Force, Surveys, and lobbying with the government on cooperative values and principles

The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (JAs) for Health and Welfare has set up an emergency task force and have been collecting information from their member prefectural federations, communicating with other national federations of JAs and the government, and securing necessary supplies. 33 out of the 105 hospitals run by prefectural federations are “Medical Institutions Designated for Infectious Diseases” and have been taking necessary measures based on requests from the national and local governments. On March 10, they submitted an urgent request to the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare for a stable supply of medical masks, disinfectants and protective equipment for infection, etc., and for the protection of health care workers and their families from prejudice and slander.
In March, the National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations (JF-Zengyoren) compiled a request for economic measures and support for production activities in response to the drastic decrease in demand and fall in fish prices caused by Covid-19, which has dealt a major blow to the financial situation of fishermen and fisheries cooperatives.
On March 6, the Japan Workers Cooperative Union (JWCU) issued an emergency statement in response to the spread of Covid-19, stating, "We make our views clear, express our requests to the government and administration, and express our thoughts on building local communities and a society based on 'cooperation and symbiosis', being empowered by the expected enactment of the Workers' Cooperative Law”.


Financial assistance

The Norinchukin Bank, JA Bank (the credit business sector of the JA Group), JF Marine Bank (that of the Fisheries Cooperative Group) and Rokin Banks are providing low-interest loans and consultations on loans and repayments in order to support the lives of their members and the local economy.
The Norinchukin Bank, JA Bank, and JF Marine Bank have established an emergency fund to combat Covid-19 for low-interest loans, reduced guarantee fees, etc.
Rokin Banks on April 20 started “special unsecured loans to support the livelihood of workers affected by Covid-19”. On April 30, they started accepting applications for "special emergency small loans based on the situation caused by Covid-19 under the livelihood welfare fund system” made by the Councils of Social Welfare.


Essential insurance works; communication of cooperation messages

JA Kyosai, Kokumin Kyosai co-op, Co-op Kyosai and others continue to perform their important tasks such as payment of coinsurance, contract administration, and deal with members, in order to protect members and policyholders. In addition, they are expanding the scope of mutual aid payments, providing special measures for payment of premiums and providing special loans.
Kokumin Kyosai co-op has set up a special page on the Web called "What you can do now for cooperation" on May 11 to "promote the creation of a society of cooperation by sending out messages of help and co-creation to members and society" and has been sending out information and communication mainly on the Web and social media.


NFUCA: is actively providing updates using social media, enabling connections among new students and between new students and senior students. They have escaped the worst-case scenario in sales related to new semester, nevertheless, when the university opens in the future, they will have to operate cafeterias, stores and other areas by taking measures to avoid crowding. Thus, the number of users will be greatly reduced. This poses a challenge to NFUCA.


Kiribati has been lucky in remaining unaffected by COVID-19 so far. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives (MCIC) however remains vigilant and has enforced protective measures and social distancing protocols.


Increasing sales of food staples; increasing capacities in special disaster zones due to covid 19; increasing mask distributions and sales; meal distribution

iCOOP responds to Covid-19 by increasing capacities in "special disaster zones" which had 70% case concentrations; and COVID-19 Social Healing Project – a fund of KRW 4.9 million to support the underprivileged and travel and service organisations.


Financial Assistance

ANGKASA has contributed US$230,000 to the government and allocated US$116,000 to cooperatives affected by the outbreak.


The Cooperative Commission of Malaysia (SKM) is considering applications for deferment of loan repayments by cooperatives impacted by COVID-19.


Financial assistance, protective gear and food staples

Central Cooperative Society (CCS) has contributed 5 million Kyats, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) outfits and masks to the COVID-19 National Committee. The 16 Union Cooperative Societies have contributed 13.08 million Kyats, bringing the total contribution of cooperatives in Myanmar to 13.08 million Kyats.

They have also distributed staples such as rice, edible oil, beans, etc. to staff and members.


Fund creation, financial assistance.

The National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCF) has created a Corona Prevention Fund to support the Corona Control Cooperative Centre and hand over the accumulated fund to Coronavirus Infection, Prevention, Control and Treatment Fund established by the Federal Government NCF contributed NPR 2.5million towards the Centre, with technical and administrative assistance of the Manmohan Memorial Hospital. Ms. Om Devi Malla, Senior VP of NCF and coordinator of the Centre shares her thoughts here: www.karobardaily.com/news/interview/30814, www.karobardaily.com/news/interview/30814, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEECHoxmD_E&t=116s

The cooperative movement of Nepal has contributed NPR 1.46 million towards the Federal Government Fund, NPR 1.38 million to the Provincial Level Government Fund, and 10.49 million towards other funds – coming to a total of NPR 21.17 million. The National Cooperative Bank limited has pledged NPR 1.1 million.

Apart from this, consumer, financial and producer cooperatives are continuing services to their members and facilitating the movement of produce and consumption during the lockdown.


Awareness campaigns; facilitating member farmer producers in distribution of produce

Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation (NACCFL) is consistently using awareness campaigns to disseminate protective measures on health and sanitation to its farmers. NACCFL is also helping its farmers transport their produce to its central market during the lockdown. They have started door-to-door delivery of their farmers’ produce, and are lobbying with the federal government to deploy Dairy Development Corporation transporting trucks to reach the different dairy collection centres of agricultural cooperatives across Nepal. NACCFL has also contributed Rs. 500,000 towards two ventilators in a hospital.


Financial assistance for relief materials

Several Jhapa-based coops have joined hands to contribute Rs. 15 million towards relief materials for poor families. These include Karnali Cooperatives, Birtamod, Nepal Multi-Purpose Cooperatives Mechinagar, Simrik Cooperatives, Birtamod, Hamroo Nepali Savings and Credit Ltd., and Mechi Cooperatives.

New Zealand

Communications with the government

Cooperative Business New Zealand (CBNZ) has been working to join the conversation with the government on the COVID-19 response, and see cooperatives as a key part of the economic recovery in New Zealand.


Social assistance

The Karachi Cooperative Housing Societies Union’s representatives assist with the community social work.


Distribution of essential hygiene supplies, food supplies

The Economic and Social Development Centre (ESDC) is handling the sterilisation materials for 26 cooperatives, to be used in production and other places with daily operations and customer interactions. ESDC is also part of a National Campaign to support the creation of home gardens by delivering 100,000 seedlings to 1000 coop members to enhance food security.

They are conducting a survey of families/ farmers/ workers affected by the lockdown, resulting in losing jobs and incomes; implementing a voucher project to provide relief to the most vulnerable families. The consumer coops provided food baskets to the poor and offered basic food supplies at lowest prices.


Food supplies

The Agricultural Cooperatives union of Palestine (PACU) provided food baskets for families in need; bought produce from farmers’ and women’s coops affected by COVID-19 restrictions. PACU is also lobbying for the diversion of funds from halted export and import activities to conducting trial shipments of PACU products to potential buyers in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.


Financial assistance, food distribution

The Cooperative Work Agency (CWA) has compiled a report outlining initiatives undertaken by Palestinian coops (71 primary coops) in response to COVID19. These initiatives amount to $250,000, and include: cash assistance, distribution of food, distribution of agricultural produce (vegetables, honey, seedlings, etc.), and the deferment of loan repayments, cashing of cheques. These initiatives have been directed to the poor; the Waqfat Izz Fund (an ad hoc emergency fund set up by the government); emergency Task Forces (set up by the government and local volunteers); quarantined people and COVID19 patients; coop members and their families; local communities.


Provision of PPEs, financial assistance

CLIMBS Life and General Insurance Cooperative (CLIMBS) mobilised their own team to check on members’ welfare in areas badly hit by COVID-19; increased access to online platforms for members to communicate their concerns; creation of the CLIMBS COVID-19 Task Force on March 11, 2020 to create a Crisis Management Plan and Crisis Communications Plan; launched an initiative for an “Adopt a Hospital Program” by providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)s and hot meals each Friday to front liners in identified COVID19 medical centres nationwide.

CLIMBS provided PPEs worth P500,000 to front-liners as part of their P2million committed funds to help the government in collective action against COVID-19.


Social assistance; food distribution; protective gear

NATCCO’s partners at the epicentre of the virus in the Philippines distribute food in the community. NATCCO coops have distributed rice and canned food (2 weeks worth of supply) to its members across the province; knapsack sprayers to disinfect contaminated areas; protective equipment to hospitals and clinics; financial assistance to overseas Filipinos through calamity loans with minimal interest.


Financial assistance and distribution of medical essentials

MASS-SPECC contributed 15 gallons of concentrated bleach as disinfectants to Barangay 11 in Cagayan de Oro city; financial assistance in collaboration with CLIMBS, MSCB and SDCC to bring the produce of farmer cooperatives in the north to assist needy communities in the NCR.


Distribution of PPE and medical essentials, food; social assistance

VICTO: Many of their coops have donated PPEs (personal protective equipment like masks, shields, gloves, etc.) and food packs to various hospitals and check-points. They are currently running a campaign for coops to share their responses and estimates of costs by posting on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #COOPtulong and #BangonCOOP. The first translates to 'coop help' and the second translates to 'rise, coops'.

VICTOs new generation stores are at the forefront in their respective communities; distribution of alcohol and sanitisers for almost all customers. VICTO were first to provide free delivery of groceries for older persons who were at the most risk to contract the virus. They have taken the lead in the issuance of advisories (6 so far) for coops after consultation with all 10 other ICA members in the country.


Supply of masks and sanitizer

AIMCoop is collaborating with the government and cooperatives to address the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines.


Social assistance, supply of basic necessities

Philippine Cooperative Centre is serving its members and the community through the Cooperative Development Fund. They are also supporting the government in defeating COVID-19, and their members by supplying hygienic necessities such as alcohol, alcogel, preventive medical items, soap, detergents, cooking oil, food (milk, sugar, bottled sardines). These are produced and distributed by the cooperatives themselves.


Financial assistance

1Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP) and the Philippine Cooperative Centre have contributed P2.5 million.

1CISP has also donated PPE to the Cooperative Health Management Federation (CHMF).


Distribution of masks, facilitating collaboration between coops

The Singapore National Cooperative Federation (SNCF) has collaborated with the Singapore Statutory Boards Employees’ Cooperative and GP+ Cooperative to purchase and distribute masks to migrant workers; to fund sponsorship towards initiatives to support migrant workers; distribute snack hampers to front-liners

SNCF sponsored and led 250 students from nine Coop Clubs to pack snack hampers and pen their own appreciation in self-made thank you cards to frontline workers as a form of appreciation and encouragement in February and March 2020.



Financial assistance; insurance protection at no additional premium; supply of food and essentials

NTUC Income has announced that over 500,000 employees of organisations insured by its Group Employee Benefits policies will receive COVID-19 cover at no additional premium.

NTUC FairPrice Cooperative (FairPrice) is supplying food and daily necessities. They, along with strategic partners have pledged $240,000 to the ComChest Heartstrings Buy community engagement initiative to benefit the less privileged. FairPrice has also pledged a donation of S$500,000 to the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, Metta Welfare Association, Assisi Hospice, Touch Community Services and Food from the Heart, through online grocery orders.

Under FairPrice Group, NTUC Foodfare Cooperative and Kopitiam have provided S$120,000 worth of MILO beverages to hospital healthcare workers.

NTUC LearningHub is offering training support and free online courses to help individuals transition to new job roles. NTUC First Campus Co-op, apart from creating interactive home-based learning resources and parent guides on a one-stop portal, gave a 50% fee offset off the net fees payable for Singaporean children enrolled in My First Skool, The Little Skool-House and The Caterpillar’s Cove, who are not attending pre-school during the circuit-breaker period.
NTUC Income Insurance Co-op is providing additional Covid-19 cover at no additional premium to close to 27,000 individuals insured by Income’s Personal Accident plans and over 500,000 employees of organisations insured by its Group Employee Benefits policies. It is also supporting lower-income households by extending Covid-19 benefits to the Income Family Micro-Insurance Scheme, and has been offering full refunds for customers wishing to cancel their travel insurance due to the Covid-19 situation.


Assistance to staff and members

SNCF, POLWEL Coop, Singapore Government Staff (SGS) Credit Coop, NTUC FairPrice and NTUC First Campus have incorporated essential protocol, including the provision of protective and sanitising gear to all its staff.

Premier Security Coop and SecureGuard Coop are paying for the accommodation of their Malaysian workers who have been stranded due to the Movement Control Order. Straits Times Coop has issued a one-time special payment of $50 to staff and members who’ve been with them for at least one year. They have allowed members to defer loan repayments by up to 6 months. They have also donated $1000 to Mind the Gap Fund, to support households affected by COVID19.
>SGS Credit Coop is planning to add a COVID Circuit Breaker support sum in the form of additional dividends to their members, coming August 2020. They have also introduced a Micro Loans scheme where members can receive up to $400 online, instantly, with approval and credit within the day.

TCC Credit Coop has postponed loan repayments and is waiving late penalties for aviation industry members till 30th June, 2020.

Running Hour Coop is helping members stay active at home via online training sessions.

Industrial and Services Co-op Society (ISCOS) launched #ISCOS Steady Note to help and encourage the community during this COVID-19 pandemic, while GP+ Co-op helped the public to post words of encouragement to healthcare workers via social media and support the mental health of healthcare workers.


Distribution of protective gear, financial support,

Seacare Coop has offered discounts for Malaysians stranded in Singapore due to the Movement Control Order at the Seacare Hotel. The Singapore Statutory Boards Employees Coop, in partnership with GP+ Coop, have donated 10,000 surgical masks and 200 reusable masks to migrant workers. SNCF, in collaboration with Migrant x me has also distributed masks to migrant workers staying in the Westlite Mandai dormitory.

UnderMercatus Co-op has offered rental support and an assistance package to help its retail tenants defray costs and safeguard jobs.

Sri Lanka

Social assistance, Provision of food rations to needy members; provision of healthcare equipment

SANASA established a special disaster relief operation committee on 25th March 2020 to address concerns regarding their daily wage employments, the daily cash-base business and shortages in daily essential requirements. The Committee was established through the donation of 1 day’s salary of all employees of affiliated companies. This has gone towards providing food rations to needy members; providing assistance to low income communities; distributing relief ration packs to economically challenged families; providing healthcare equipment to hospital staff.

Sri Lanka

Collaboration with local supermarkets for service delivery

Cooperative Societies have collaborated with supermarket chains for the supply, operation and coordination of essential services.

Sri Lanka

Food distribution and provision of essentials

The Sri Lanka Consumer Cooperative Societies Federation Limited have collaborated with the Government of Sri Lanka to distribute food items to affected people. They have also provided essentials for multipurpose cooperative societies in association with the government.

Timor Lestes

The Timor-Leste Credit Union (FCCHM) has been hit by floods, along with COVID-19. Due to the vast damages faced on account of the above, vast losses have been faced.


Facilitating export of medical equipment

The Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA) has offered to connect global cooperatives and federations with the Government of Vietnam to facilitate the export of essential medical equipment that Vietnam has the capacilities to produce. This includes medical masks, medical clothes and ventilators.