Damage to the offices Kahramanmaraş Agricultural Credit Cooperative No. 473 (World Council photo)

$41K targeted for Turkish agricultural credit cooperatives devastated by February earthquakes

April 16, 2023

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions (WFCU) is providing a $41,000 grant to Tarim Kredi (Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey) for the purchase of 10 portable office units that will allow some of their credit cooperatives to resume operations halted since two Feb. 6 earthquakes caused significant damage to their permanent structures. 

Four days after the 7.5 and 7.8 magnitude earthquakes struck southern Turkey, WFCU, in partnership with World Council of Credit Unions, launched its Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund and worked closely with Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey to assess the greatest needs for their 150 cooperatives located in the impacted region.  

After discussions between the two organizations, WFCU designed the $41,000 grant to cover the purchase of ten portable office units that will allow those credit cooperatives to help their member farmers continue agricultural production and keep themselves economically viable, while contributing to the food security of the earthquake-ravaged region.  

The portable office units will also be used to house employees of the credit cooperatives who lost their homes in the earthquakes. 

“We are thrilled that the global credit union community rallied to offer so much support for this effort in such a short period of time. It allows us to effect real change less than two months after we started the Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund,” said Mike Reuter, Executive Director of Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions. 

With 1,617 cooperatives serving 800,000 members, Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey is not only the country’s leading agricultural credit cooperative but the largest agricultural organization in Turkey.  

“On behalf of Tarım Kredi and my country, I would like to thank WFCU, WOCCU and the credit union community for the support they have shown since the first week of the disaster. We have been collaborating with WFCU to mitigate the impacts of the earthquakes. In order to continue the activities of our cooperatives which were destroyed or damaged, and to create a safe environment for our staff, we will send ten portable office units to quake-hit cities thanks to the Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund,” said Okan Ateş, deputy director general of the Central Union of Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey. 

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions continues to raise money through its Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund and will work with Agricultural Credit Cooperatives of Turkey to identify future opportunities to assist the organization with its recovery and rebuilding efforts.