World Council Activates Caribbean Relief Fund

Hurricane Irma Slams Island Nations

September 14, 2017

MADISON, Wis - Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the Caribbean brought devastation, loss of life and damage of “epic proportions”. Anguilla, Barbuda and Tortola have experienced major devastation. The Bahamas and St. Kitts and Nevis were also impacted but to a lesser degree.

“Unprecedented damages to Barbuda, home to 1,800 people, are estimated at US$150 million,” Prime Minister Gaston Browne said. Hurricane Irma’s path of destruction has killed at least 44 people in the Caribbean and the island nations are being described as “nuclear landscape”. 

Hurricane Irma over the Caribbean 

Credit unions and their members have suffered significant loss. There are more than 100,000 credit union members in Anguilla, Barbuda, Tortola and St. Kitts and Nevis. Unofficial estimates from World Council member Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions indicate that approximately US$1.9 billion may be required for reconstruction in these countries.

World Council will provide immediate relief to support rebuilding efforts. “It is through these difficult times that our global community comes together to show its strength and reach beyond borders to help those in need,” said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO urging credit union leaders to offer their financial support in providing relief to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma follows the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey which impacted thousands of U.S. credit unions and their members. The National Credit Union Foundation is collecting donations for credit union staff and volunteers in the U.S. affected by both storms.

The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions is the official gift-receiving and grantmaking arm of World Council. Over the past four years, the Foundation has delivered nearly $1 million in aid to credit union organizations affected by natural disasters in the Philippines, Nepal, Ecuador, Malawi and Colombia.

Click here to make a donation for Caribbean Relief Efforts

Click here to make a donation for U.S. relief efforts.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform 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, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Contact: Eleni Giakoumopoulos
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1-608-395-2031