World Council steps up Liberian development as Ebola ebbs

November 12, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (11/13/14)--The World Council of Credit Unions didn't leave Liberia when the deadly Ebola outbreak in that country materialized.

In collaboration with the Liberia Credit Union National Association, World Council instead has sponsored Ebola prevention training for staff and credit union members, and members have received educational materials through dialogue, fliers, radio campaigns and community engagement activities on an ongoing basis.

However, anxiety over the deadly virus has forced many World Council activities--as part of its model credit union building project--to stall, and the outbreak has restricted staff activities and movement within the West African county.

But once it's safe, World Council has said, the global credit union trade association will be ready to get back to the full scale of its work.

"Recent reports show a reduction in the number of people infected with Ebola," said Peter Graves, World Council senior vice president of technical services. "Our expectation is to ramp up the project as soon as we receive the go-ahead from health officials.

"Although project activities have been hampered, Liberian credit unions have remained open and World Council staff members continue to remain actively involved in helping credit union members."

World Council arrived in Liberia in 2013 through funding provided by the United Nations Capital Development Fund. The trade association's efforts have centered on expanding savings and improving the livelihoods of the impoverished by developing four regional model credit unions.

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, World Council made a contribution to UNICEF, which has been on the forefront of the work to stop the virus from spreading.

World Council has suggested that credit unions and individuals who want to support those efforts should make donations to UNICEF directly as well.