WOCCU Releases New Publication Focusing on Ecuador's Underserved

January 09, 2006

Phone: (608) 395-2000

Madison, WI – In the third of its "FOCUS" series, World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) released FOCUS Ecuador to "highlight the achievements of two donor-funded programs which have resulted in a stronger and safer credit union system that reaches more and poorer member-clients via innovative technology and diversified product offerings" (from FOCUS Ecuador).

The publication is now available in PDF format on the WOCCU website at and was funded, in part, by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Cooperative Development Program.

FOCUS Ecuador explores the process of launching a national credit union network – RedCoop – to reach out to new members, especially those living in underserved rural areas, through shared branching and international remittances. In the second WOCCU program highlighted in the publication, members climb the ladder of financial services through savings and credit groups. Known as "Savings and Credit with Education" (SCWE), the program works with credit unions to dispatch field agents to help women without access to other financial services to organize themselves into small groups to combine to form a village bank to gain access to small loans.

WOCCU senior manager for development finance Anna Cora Evans, who co-authored the publication, said "Credit unions in Ecuador have done an amazing job of expanding access to financial services and creating hope for thousands of poor Ecuadorians. Their stories are full of valuable lessons and serve as inspiration for those of us devoted to making a difference through credit unions."

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