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Sala de Noticias // Boletines Noticiosos

04 de enero de 2005

Report From Sri Lanka: Sad News; New Hope

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Madison, WI-Shortly after last week's horrific devastation in South Asia the Sri Lankan Credit Union Federation (SANASA) began to provide immediate ground relief.

The most recent report, from P.A. Kiriwandeniya, chairman of SANASA is worse than originally anticipated. The current death toll tops 31,000 in Sri Lanka alone. According to the ministry of social welfare of Sri Lanka, as of January 4 there were still 3,846 people missing, while over 15,000 are injured. General estimates put the number displaced from their homes to makeshift camps and settlements at close to 1 million.

As expected, the economy is devastated; more than 75% of the fishing industry destroyed and the tourism business is wondering if it will ever recover. In addition, it is now known that 800 SANASA credit unions were destroyed—far more than the initial 100 reported.

Recovery will be a slow process, as the SANASA network begins the reconstruction process. SANASA still includes 8,000 primary societies (credit unions) scattered across the island and 33 district unions. Its branches have already helped distribute aid in the form of food, clothing and medical supplies and according to Kiriwandeniya, the Galle branch arranged for the funerals of 650 victims.

Kiriwandeniya also had some unexpectedly good news to report. Because of the generosity of donors and volunteers, Sri Lankan survivors have enough food and clothing to survive for the time being, though they are still in need of medical supplies.

With basic necessities secured for the moment, SANASA is moving into the third phase of its recovery plan (the second phase included clearing the devastated areas and setting up youth camps). Phase three includes building 1,000 shelter units, providing cooking utensils for 25,000 families, taking guardianship of more than 100 orphaned children and generating jobs to help revive the economy.

Kiriwandeniya has requested financial assistance from the international credit union community for this third phase in the relief effort. WOCCU will continue soliciting donations from its members and associates, engaging in the reconstruction process.

For more information on how to contribute to the Worldwide Credit Union Foundation-Tsunami Relief Fund visit the WOCCU website at

El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.

El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 105 países atienden a 217 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en

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