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MADISON, Wis.-As credit unions devastated by the giant tsunami that erupted from the Indian Ocean a couple weeks ago in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and other countries dig out from the disaster, the World Council of Credit Unions is sending its former WOCCU-Sri Lanka project director Normunds Mizis to the area for a first-hand look. The Indonesia Credit Union Federation, CUCO, is still assessing the damage to the country’s credit unions and their members. In Sri Lanka, more than 100 community credit unions and at least one district (credit) union were destroyed. Many staff, primary society members and their families have died as the tsunami washed inland up to one kilometer, WOCCU reported. The Sri Lanka Credit Union Federation, SANASA, has worked to bring food, blankets, and clothing to the affected communities. Mizis served as the project director for WOCCU’s Credit Union Institutional Strengthening Program in Sri Lanka from 1998-2002. He will return to the country and assist SANASA in its efforts. “We are planning to have a fund through the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions,” WOCCU Governmental Affairs Manager Molly Schar explained. WOCCU is calling on the international credit union community to provide funds for disaster relief efforts in Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The organization is currently working with SANASA, CUCO and the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions to help provide immediate assistance, rebuild credit unions, and begin rebuilding the affected communities. Contributions can be made to the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Road , P.O. Box 2982, Madison, WI 53701-2982. Funds can also be wired via US Bank, 1 South Pinckney Street, Madison, Wis. 53703, Swift Code Number: USBKUS44IMT (International wires), ABA Routing Number: 075900465 (Domestic wires), Account Number: 312 280 929. Be sure to indicate the funds are for the tsunami relief efforts. “We are grateful for any assistance that can be provided to the Worldwide Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund for the Tsunami Relief,” WOCCU Interim President and CEO Brian Branch said. “WOCCU will continue to provide updates on events in the affected areas and the impact which contributions are having on the ground.” According to the Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, an associate member of WOCCU, around 12,000 credit unions operate in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia-five of the dozen nations impacted-serving nearly four million members. Additionally, Schar said that WOCCU’s 2003 Statistical Report showed 2,500 credit unions serve 1.8 million in Kenya, and Tanzania, which is not affiliated with WOCCU, is home to 508 credit unions serving 136,947 members. [email protected]

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