Philippines Disaster Relief Funds Announced

February 22, 2006

Phone: (608) 395-2000

Madison, WI- World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) has activated its international disaster relief fund for benefit of the savings and credit cooperatives devastated by last Friday's landslides in the Philippines.

WOCCU is reviewing damage reports from the area. It is too early to estimate the credit union damage, but many members have been affected. Some 1,800 people are missing and presumed dead under the soupy mud. The Philippine Geosciences Bureau estimates that the mud is four meters (13 feet) deep and covers an area of approximately three square kilometers (1.16 square miles).

WOCCU Senior Manager Curtis Slover has coordinated a preliminary needs analysis with VICTO, the Visayas Cooperative Training Organization for savings and credit cooperatives. Two disaster relief priorities were identified:

  • Educational accounts for 20 to 25 children/siblings who lost their parents, enabling them to continue their schooling
  • Capitalizing 100 revolving "Livelihood" loans, enabling credit union members to start or continue businesses so they can rebuild their lives and the economy
Together, these two projects will have a great impact on the health of both the local credit union and members' lives. WOCCU hopes to raise $30,000 to fund both these initiatives.

WOCCU has had ongoing activities with the Philippine credit union movement, having carried out technical assistance projects there since 1988. Current projects include a rural women's savings and credit education program and a credit union strengthening technical assistance program. The Washington Credit Union League and Affiliates leads a WOCCU International Partnership Program with the Philippines credit union movement. There are 378 credit unions and more than 700,000 credit union members in the country.

To support the international credit union disaster relief fund and rebuilding of Philippine credit unions, payments may be sent to:

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc. 5710 Mineral Point Road P.O. Box 2982 Madison, WI 53701-2982

Funds may also be wired. Contact Valerie Breunig, 608-231-7353, for wire instructions.

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 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 68,882 credit unions in 109 countries serve 235 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at