Support Rebuild of Credit Unions Following Tragic Earthquake in Ecuador
Hundreds of lives have been lost and credit unions devastated following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 16 near Ecuador's northern coast, where the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) is working to bring payment systems to rural credit unions. As aftershocks continue to shake the region, rescuers search for survivors and credit unions try to reopen.
"It's the worst tragedy in 60 years," Defense Minister Ricardo Patiño said. "We're facing the most difficult phase right now, which is rescuing victims and recovering bodies." This is Ecuador's deadliest earthquake since 1987, and it is expected to "take years to recover," Patiño said.
According to preliminary reports by World Council's Ecuadorian partner Coonecta, the earthquake damaged 26 credit unions, affecting 252,343 members in the region. Power outages, broken communication lines and damage to physical infrastructure is preventing credit union members from accessing their financial resources such as savings, remittances and payment systems.
Thanks to generous support from CUNA Mutual Group, World Council will provide immediate relief to credit union staff and support credit union rebuilding efforts. Much-needed cash contributions from the global credit union industry and individuals will offer additional assistance to those whose lives have been devastated.
Over the last three years, World Council has raised over $500,000 to rebuild credit unions in the Philippines and Nepal following natural disasters in 2013 and 2015, respectively. With support from the global credit union movement, World Council has leveraged its resources to rebuild hundreds of financial institutions, improve infrastructure and bring rehabilitation services to millions of members in these countries.
To support the rebuilding of Ecuadorian credit unions, donations via check, credit card or wire may be sent to:
Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc.
5710 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705, USA
Please indicate your donation is designated for Ecuador Earthquake Relief.
Donations can also be made online today.