Opinion | Ukraine is developing remarkably innovative ways to reach people in need

The June 23 news article “‘I can’t come empty-handed’” described Ukrainian postal workers’ awesome grit and courage in reaching people isolated by Russia’s invasion. Of particular importance is the postal workers’ delivery of pension payments.

While these workers are dodging bullets, Ukraine’s social security institutions are developing some remarkably innovative and less risky approaches to reach people in need. Beneficiaries whose post office is no longer functional may receive payments directly from two major banks, with offices across the country. They need only present a national identification and tax number. The Pension Fund of Ukraine (PFU) has partnered with PrivatBank to enable people to apply online simultaneously for a pension and a debit card, a remarkably simplified form of one-stop shopping. With a card issued by one of several Ukrainian banks (in coordination with the PFU), beneficiaries may collect benefits and pay for purchases in many retail businesses, pharmacies and gas stations.

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