BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday September 21, 2017 – With four of its members countries left in disarray following the devastating passage of Hurricane Irma earlier this month, the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) has put the business of disaster relief firmly on its agenda.
Barbuda, Anguilla, Tortola and St Kitts and Nevis, which have an estimated 10,000 credit unions combined, suffered untold damage from the powerful system with at least one island, Barbuda, being declared “uninhabitable”.
Unofficial estimates from the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions, a member of the World Council, indicate that approximately US$1.9 billion may be required for reconstruction in the affected countries. And this has led to the WOCCU activating a Caribbean Relief Fund to support credit unions that have been affected by Hurricane Irma.
“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, the president and chief executive to WOCCU.
The WOCCU is raising funds through the Worldwide Foundation of Credit Unions, its official gift receiving and grant making arm.
In addition to the Caribbean region, the foundation is raising funds to provide relief for those impacted by storms in the United States.
Over the past four years, the foundation has delivered approximately US$1 million in aid to credit union organizations affected by natural disasters in the Philippines, Nepal, Ecuador, Malawi and Colombia.