MADISON, Wis. (3/17/14)--Immediately after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed communities throughout the Philippines, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions--the World Council of Credit Unions' fundraising arm--activated a campaign that raised more than $260,000 from the global credit union community.
VICTO National will help rebuild nine credit unions in the worst-affected region of Eastern Visayas through the Worldwide Foundation's grant. Pictured here is the typhoon's aftermath at Ormoc Vendors MPC. (World Council of Credit Unions photo)
Now, nearly four months after the storm, local credit unions have begun rebuilding their offices while thousands of credit union members struggle to access basic financial services.
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/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 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.
There are 1,320 credit unions in the Philippines serving 4.3 million members, according to according to World Council's 2012 Statistical Report.