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WFCU invites global movement to join flood relief efforts in Brazil

MADISON, Wis, May 20, 2024 – Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions [ WFCU ], in partnership with World Council of Credit Unions [WOCCU], recently launched its Brazilian Flood Relief Fund to solicit donations in support of the credit union movement in Brazil, which has faced unprecedented devastation this month from flooding and overflowing rivers in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

As of May 9, 417 municipalities in the region have been affected by the floods, displacing more than 150,000 people and forcing 60,000 of them into shelters.

Sicredi—WOCCU’s Direct Member and the largest credit union system in Brazil, has a network of 104 credit unions in the country, with 38 of them operating in Rio Grande do Sul. At least half of those institutions have branches that suffered some level of damage, and Sicredi estimates roughly 500 of their employees have been personally impacted.

Responding to Sicredi’s request to support its immediate relief efforts in the region through its Project Storm Break Initiative, WFCU has allocated US$ 15,000 to help meet the emergency needs of the credit union employees and the communities they serve. The money will go toward the purchase and distribution of non-perishable food, potable water, personal hygiene kits, blankets, mattresses and pillows, and clothes for children and adults.

“We are going through a great tragedy. We count on the strength of cooperation and the global movement to help us come out of this stronger. We are now focusing on the emergency needs of the communities we are serving in Rio Grande do Sul. With this scale of destruction, we also realize that the recovery and rebuilding process will take a lot of time and resources. Support from the global credit union movement and Brazilian expats around the globe can play a crucial role in the post-crisis recovery of our credit unions,” said Manfred Dasenbrock, President of Central Sicredi PR/SP/RJ and a member of the WOCCU Board of Directors.

WOCCU is also working with its two Associate Member credit union organisations in Brazil—SICOOB and Cresol Confederation, to learn about their urgent and mid-term needs.

“This is why Project Storm Break was created—to respond both immediately and cooperatively to credit union crises worldwide. WFCU is honored to coordinate a global response to meet the needs of communities throughout Rio Grande do Sul,” said Mike Reuter, WFCU President.

WOCCU and WFCU encourage the global credit union community to join this effort and make a donation to help our colleagues and friends in Brazil.

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