Co-operatives support post typhoon recovery efforts in the Philippines

03 Dec 2013

Co-operative organisations from across the world are raising funds to support the rebuilding and recovery efforts in the aftermath of typhoon Hayian. The devastating typhoon, which hit the Philippines 8 November, affected over 10 million people, with over 5,632 killed, 18,175 injured, and 850,808 displaced.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) of Philippines confirmed on 30 November that over 1,759 people were still missing. The cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructures is estimated at P 30.6 billion (USD $699.7 million). According to the National Confederation of Co-operatives of Philippines, over 350,000 co-operative members were affected by the typhoon.

In the US the Cooperative Development Foundation is raising funds to help in the recovery of co-operatives and co-operators impacted by Haiyan. The funds will be used for recovery and rebuilding. The CDF has a long history of raising funds to assist in the recovery of co-operatives and their members struck by natural disasters. In 212 they helped collect USD $26,000 for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The National Co-operative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) is also coordinating efforts with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to help thousands of rural electric and credit union members.

According to NRECA, around 30 electric co-operatives have been damaged by the storm and thousands of people were left without power. Over 3,000 credit union members were killed by the typhoon, while another 75,000 lost their homes, informed WOCCU.

To get back on their feet, these co-operatives will need poles, conductor, insulators, transformers as well as financial assistance. Apart from raising money for members of electric co-operatives affected by the typhoon, NRECA has mobilised more than 250 linemen from co-operatives throughout the archipelago to contribute to restoration and recovery efforts.

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) has also launched a fundraising campaign for the victims of typhoon Haiyan. ICMIF has contacted its members based in the Philippines (CARD MBA, RIMANSI, NATCCO MBA, CISP and CLIMBS) to find out more about the impact of the typhoon. The ICMIF Disaster Relief Network is looking at ways in which it could provide long-term support to members affected by the natural disaster.

Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) thinks that at a time when more and more such natural disasters are occurring across the world, insurance co-operatives can offer help and comfort individuals and communities “in picking the pieces and carrying on with life”.

“It is time to exert our influence not just as the mutual sector but as the insurance sector and to mitigate these disasters by directing public policy,“ he said.

If you would like to support the disaster recovery efforts, you may send your donations to the International Co-operative Alliance Recovery Fund:
Beneficiary: Alliance Coopérative Internationale
Bank: KBC
Account number: 734-0382579-20
IBAN: BE28 7340 3825 7920
Photo: the impact of Haiyan, (c) Caritas International