Sri Lanka Credit Unions Begin Rebuilding Effort
Madison, WI—Just two months after Sri Lanka
suffered a devastating tsunami, credit union
reconstruction is already underway thanks to the
generous support of credit unions around the
world. To date nearly $600,000 has been raised
through the efforts of the World Council of
Credit Unions' Worldwide Foundation for Credit
Unions and the National Credit Union Foundation.
Funds raised by these groups will be dispersed in
accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding
(MOU) recently signed by the Credit Cooperative
Societies Sri Lanka (SANASA) and Worldwide
Using a damage assessment form created by
WOCCU, SANASA began to evaluate damage and
prioritize reconstruction in January. Five of the
10 affected districts have been assessed and
preliminary reports indicate that 154 societies
were completely destroyed. An assessment of
societies that were damaged but not completely
destroyed is still underway.
To aid reconstruction efforts SANASA created
an architectural plan—estimated at roughly
$14,000—and determined the quantities and costs
of basic items such as furniture, accounting
books and office supplies needed to reopen the
According to the current plan, societies will
be rebuilt in groups of 10-20, and it will take
two to three months to rebuild each group. WOCCU
estimates that the entire rebuilding process will
take roughly two years, though a shortage of
building materials is likely to slow
construction. Reconstruction started with the
signing of the MOU, and first quarter efforts
will help to determine the accuracy of estimated
costs and timelines.
Brian Branch, WOCCU president and CEO
(Interim) shared, "World Council is proud of the
generous support credit unions around the world
have supplied to a member movement in need.
Because of this support the credit union system
in Sri Lanka will be rebuilt and will play an
crucial role in rebuilding the country's economy."
The MOU calls for Worldwide Foundation to
disperse funds quarterly to SANASA recommend
societies for rebuilding. SANASA will make its
recommendations at the beginning of each quarter
and provide reports and before/after pictures at
the end of each quarter. The World Council of
Credit Unions will provide on-location monitoring
twice a year and has already identified local
resources for this role.
For more information on the Tsunami Disaster
Relief efforts visit World Council's website at
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, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.