The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has approved a grant of 4.5 million euros for Ukrposhta. These funds will be used to create heating points and access to electricity and the Internet on the basis of stationary and mobile branches of the postal operator.
It is planned to purchase generators to equip up to 1700 security points on the basis of Ukrposhta branches, so that in case of a complete blackout, the company can not only provide postal, logistics and financial services, but also provide Ukrainians with access to the Internet and electricity, despite Russia's ongoing attacks on the country's electricity infrastructure.
This is the first stage of building a resilient infrastructure across the country on the basis of Ukrposhta's network, which will provide Ukrainians with access to postal and financial services, electricity and Internet connection. To be able to at least charge phones and other devices in 100% (which is more than 28 thousand) of the country's settlements. This project became possible thanks to the active assistance of the First Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yulia Svyrydenko and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine.
The grant of EUR 4.5 million, which will be raised from the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, will be used by Ukrposhta to purchase satellite internet devices and power generators to provide reliable internet connectivity and mobile device charging points. Ukrposhta will also supplement the €4.5 million from the EBRD with an additional €1.5 million of its own funds to purchase heating stoves, Wi-Fi routers and lighting equipment. In addition, Ukrposhta is already using starlinks provided by the Ministry of Communities, Territories and Infrastructure of Ukraine and the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine to provide communication in the de-occupied territories.
Thus, a full-fledged network of safety points will be created on the basis of Ukrposhta offices, where every Ukrainian will be able to warm up or charge their phone. "Since this network is independent of Ukraine's national power grid, which has been under constant attack from Russia this autumn, leading to massive power cuts, this means that Ukrainian post offices, even in villages, can serve as resilience points for the local population," the EBRD said in a statement.
The EBRD grant complements a previous EBRD-funded project signed in November 2020, under which Ukrposhta used a €63 million EBRD loan to modernise its logistics infrastructure, namely the purchase of mobile offices. As a result, more than 1600 mobile post offices were purchased. They have replaced old post offices in rural areas and have played an important role in delivering parcels, pensions and essential goods to local people across the country, including the recently liberated areas in eastern and southern Ukraine.