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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Launches Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund

Donations will target areas of need for cooperatives devastated by February 6 earthquakes

Earthquake devastation in Kahramanmaras, Turkey (Courtesy: IBC)

MADISON, Wis.—Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, in partnership with World Council of Credit Unions, Thursday launched its Turkish Cooperative Earthquake Relief Fund to solicit donations in support of Turkey’s cooperative movement, which has suffered mass devastation from two February 6 earthquakes.

An early morning 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Gaziantep was followed by a 7.5 magnitude quake hours later in Kahramanmaras. Tarimkredi (Turkish Agricultural Credit Cooperatives) has more than 150 cooperatives with 80,000 members in the 10 provinces impacted by the earthquakes and estimates at least half of those institutions have suffered some level of destruction.

World Council of Credit Unions President and CEO Elissa McCarter LaBorde has reached out to the leaders of Tarimkredi and the heads of other organizations in Turkey to assess the greatest needs and to determine how the Relief Fund can be put to the best and most immediate use possible.

“As someone who managed post-earthquake recovery programs in Turkey earlier in my career, my heart goes out to the many communities that have been hit by this tragedy. World Council and our Worldwide Foundation have assisted financial cooperatives in the wake of natural disasters for decades. We are proud to play a part in helping mobilize the generosity of the global credit union movement to support those in need,” said McCarter LaBorde.

If you would like to make a donation to support the immediate humanitarian relief efforts on the ground in both Turkey and Syria, we are currently in communication with the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation (IBC), a non-governmental organization that has intensified relief efforts by distributing hot meals, ready-to-eat food, blankets, aid kits, and is contributing to build shelters and tent cities.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 87,914 credit unions in 118 countries serve 393 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


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