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Financial Inclusion:  Nepalese Credit Unions Rebuilt

Financial Inclusion was restored in Nepal by rebuilding local credit unions following Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years.  Thus hope has been restored to the country’s credit unions, known as Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS).

Nearly 9,000 lives were lost and more than 900,000 homes damaged in the earthquake. The Nepal Federation of Saving and Credit Cooperative Union Limited (NEFSCUN) estimates more than 600 members died. Although the earthquake damaged many SACCO buildings, greater challenges arose in conducting regular operational activities and transactions for members. Thousands of members—who depend on livestock and agriculture—were devastated by the deaths of relatives and loss of land and farming equipment

In collaboration with development partners and support from individual and credit union contributions, the Worldwide Foundation provided NEFSCUN with a $US175,000 grant to repair building structures, replace equipment and train management officers in disaster recovery.

NEFSCUN focused on three restoration stages: rehabilitation, rebuilding, and adjustment. Beyond branch reconstruction, rehabilitation efforts included psychological counseling services to NEFSCUN staff and members. SACCOS also offered financial literacy training and assisted members in their plans for rebuilding livelihoods.

Worldwide Foundation’s Impact, by the Numbers:

  • 220 SACCOS received essential basic operating office equipment, software support, stationaries, relocation support, lost information recovery assistance, and soft loan support.
  • 41 SACCOS were physically repaired and reconstructed.
  • 41 SACCOS received technical training on financial literacy outreach to members, governance, and quality assurance assistance.
  • 23 cooperative managers and NEFSCUN officers received psychological training. These managers were equipped to counsel members and assist with financial literacy training.
  • 21 SACCO members received technical construction training and assisted with rebuilding efforts.
  • 47 cooperative members received first aid training and attended to other wounded members.
  • 25 NEFSCUN board members received training on strategic planning and direction.
  • The implementation of rehabilitation and rebuilding activities took place in 14 districts of Nepal.

The World Council’s rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in Nepal are now complete. Over the past six years, the Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions has delivered over $US2 million in aid to credit union organizations affected by natural disasters in Chile, Haiti, El Salvador, Malawi, Philippines, and Nepal.

Source: World Council of Credit Unions

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