MADISON, Wis. (10/1/15)--Five months after Nepal's worst earthquake in 80 years, the World Council of Credit Unions, Irish Credit Union League Foundation (ICULF) and Asia Confederation of Credit Unions (ACCU) have partnered to rehabilitate and renovate over 300 Nepalese credit unions, or SACCOs, and their branches.
Through contributions by individuals and credit unions, World Council's Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, ICULF and ACCU provided the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperative Unions (NEFSCUN) with a $175,000 grant to repair building structures, replace equipment and train management officers in disaster recovery.
"Thanks to ICULF, ACCU and our international supporters, 216,000 Nepalese credit union members will regain access to financial services and hope for a better future," said Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO.
Beyond branch reconstruction, rehabilitation efforts will include psychological counseling services to NEFSCUN staff and members. SACCOs will also offer financial literacy training and assist members in their plans for rebuilding livelihoods.
Loss of property, livelihoods and lives among NEFSCUN membership has been devastating. Thousands of members, who rely solely on livestock and agriculture, have witnessed the collapse of $50 million in crops, machinery and cattle. At the same time, members continue to mourn lost family, as NEFSCUN estimates 655 members died from the earthquake.
"NEFSCUN thanks all the people who gave money through WOCCU, ACCU and ILCUF for their support to help us renovate our credit unions in Nepal," said Shivajee Sapkota, NEFSCUN CEO. "This support has been instrumental in rehabilitating credit unions temporarily closed due to the earthquake Nepal suffered in April."
In the past four years, the Worldwide Foundation has delivered over $US2 million in aid to credit union organizations affected by natural disasters in Chile, Haiti, El Salvador, and most recently Malawi and the Philippines.