MADISON, Wis. — Nearly four months after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed communities throughout the Philippines, local credit unions have begun rebuilding their offices while thousands of credit union members struggle to access basic financial services.
Immediately following the country's most powerful and deadliest natural disaster, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions—World Council's fundraising arm—activated a campaign that raised over US$260,000 from the global credit union community. Through the Foundation's reconstruction grant, VICTO National Co-operative Federation and Development Center will coordinate the rebuilding of nine associated credit unions and their branches that were significantly damaged in the Eastern Visayas region—the Nov. 8 typhoon's worst-hit area. Funds will finance the purchase of rebuilding materials and institutional-capacity items such as office equipment, generators, computers and furniture.
"Thanks to partners like CUNA Mutual Group, Credit Union Foundation Australia and the Irish League of Credit Union's International Development Foundation, as well as contributing credit unions and individuals worldwide, World Council will reignite financial services for over 240,800 credit union members in an effort to help strengthen resiliency during this difficult time," said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO.
World Council has led relief and rebuilding efforts for past international disasters including the 2006 Philippines landslide in Leyte, after which the Foundation's relief efforts supported the administration of small microloans to help credit union members and employees rebuild their homes and businesses. World Council's technical services team, including Peter Graves, senior vice president; and Luis Sasuman, consultant and former World Council employee, will monitor Typhoon Haiyan's reconstruction efforts.According to World Council's 2012 Statistical Report, there are 1,320 credit unions in the Philippines serving 4.3 million members. To support World Council's general relief efforts, donate online today at www.woccu.org/give.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.