KATHMANDU, Nepal (4/30/15)--The World Council of Credit Unions is working with a number of organizations to bring relief to Nepal, where a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Saturday and an aftershock hit Sunday, killing thousands and reducing buildings and infrastructure to rubble.
A glimpse of the destruction caused by the 7.9 magnitude earthquake and the 6.4 magnitude aftershock that ravaged Nepal earlier this week. (World Council of Credit Unions Photo)
Nearly 30 of the 75 districts in Nepal have been designated as crisis zones, as many people are still believed to be trapped under collapsed buildings in dense areas, or stuck in rural and mountainous areas, which, including Mount Everest, have experienced deadly avalanches.
World Council is communicating with the Nepal Federation of Savings and Credit Cooperative Unions (NEFSCUN) and the Association of Asian Confederation Credit Unions to coordinate fundraising efforts to aid employees and members of local credit unions, known in Nepal as savings and credit cooperative societies.
Rather than activating CUAid--a program organized by the National Credit Union Foundation to specifically help credit unions and their members--the foundation is asking that all funds be directed to the World Council's efforts.
"Credit unions from around the world have expressed the desire to help our Nepalese colleagues affected by the earthquake," said Brian Branch, World Council president/CEO. "As we have seen so many times in the past, part of what makes us a global community is our commitment to help each other in times of need."
NEFSCUN has reported massive damage to credit unions and their members' properties, which will severely constrain access to financial services. Cash contributions from the global credit union community would go a long way in supporting damaged credit unions and their members, World Council said.
"Credit unions play a major role in providing access to finance in the most remote regions of Nepal, giving members a safe haven for savings and loans for education, healthcare, alternative energy and increased agricultural production," said Peter Graves, World Council vice president of technical services. "Our thoughts go out to all Nepalese and others living in Nepal, including credit union members negatively impacted by this past weekend's earthquake. World Council will support Nepalese credit unions' efforts to rebuild after an initial assessment has been undertaken."
Donations can be made online at www.woccu.org/give. Indicate donations as designated for the Nepal Earthquake Relief Efforts.