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World Council Provides Quake Relief for Ecuadorian CUs
Thursday, April 21, 2016 6:45 AM

The World Council of Credit Unions has initiated earthquake relief efforts to credit unions and their members specifically in Ecuador's northern coast provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabí. According to preliminary reports by World Council's Ecuadorian partner Coonecta, the magnitude 7.8 earthquake damaged 26 credit unions, affecting more than 252,000 members in the region.

Power outages, broken communication lines, and damage to physical infrastructure are preventing credit union members from accessing their financial resources such as savings, remittances, and payment systems.

"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," he said.

With support from CUNA Mutual Group, World Council will provide immediate relief to credit union staff and support credit union rebuilding efforts.

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 Rd., Madison, WI 53705; or submitted online at Donations should be designated for Ecuador Earthquake Relief.