NGOs Seek Government Help to Avoid Bankruptcy

Russia’s NGOs have requested a range of anti-crisis measures to support them amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Izvestia reports

These could include deferments on loan payments and a moratorium on fines for failing to fulfill state contracts. This proposal was outlined in a letter by Deputy Speaker of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Andrei Turchak to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The President of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergei Katyrin, sent a similar request to Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, noting that the risks that NGOs could go bankrupt have significantly mounted. The organizations have reported huge financial losses.

Today, more than 1,000 private kindergartens and over 800 private schools for at least 100,000 children are in jeopardy. These educational institutions employ more than 18,000 teachers, who could face the risk of not getting paid, the association of non-state kindergartens, children clubs and schools in Russia said. 

“Our market share was nearly 2.3% and by the end of this year it was projected to rise to 3.6%. But now it will plunge to 1.2%-1.5%. Some 20% of schools and kindergartens will survive,” the organization’s chair, Marina Shilkina, told the paper.

In his letter sent to the prime minister on April 8, Turchak noted that amid the spread of Covid-19, the role of civil society in Russia “is growing like never before.” Socially-oriented NGOs and volunteers have been providing active support to the Russian authorities by helping citizens across the country. Some 85 volunteer regional centers set up by the United Russia party employ some 85,000 volunteers, who deliver medication and food to elderly citizens, help doctors and distribute protective gear.

The State Duma (lower house) Committee for the Development of Civil Society estimates that the government should provide assistance to nearly 130,000 social NGOs and the particular volume of assistance is yet to be determined.

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