Press release

Devastated storm-hit communities now re-building thanks to donations from Co-operatives UK members

Thanks to an appeal launched by Co-operatives UK last September, long-term reconstruction and development work is well under way following devastating hurricanes and flooding in South East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Generous donations from co-ops throughout the UK have helped raise £140,000 to support co-operatives in affected areas rebuild devastated communities. Co-operatives UK spearheaded the campaign, with support from The Co-op, following an initial donation from Southern Co-op. The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) turned it into a global appeal and is now getting help to the affected areas.

In Asia, work is progressing at pace in Nepal, where the National Co-operative Federation and National Agriculture Co-operative Central Federation are handling reconstruction with support from appeal donations. Programmes are in place to support co-operatives with loans or grants. And livelihood support grants are available for the repair of damaged buildings and equipment, most typically for farmers.

Co-operatives UK’s Ed Mayo is delighted with efforts in other areas too:

“In the Americas, the rural electricity co-ops have been active in restoring power in communities after Hurricane Irma. The Swedish co‐operative development agency, We Effect, has worked to support co‐operatives rebuild where farmers’ fields were destroyed in the floods in northern Vietnam.”

To co-ordinate its work, the ICA has created a new Development Platform committee with the Swedish housing co-operator, Anders Lago, as Chair. The Co-operative College, with support from Co-operatives UK, has drawn up good practice guidelines.

“We are building the capacity for international co-operative development across the movement. I found it very moving to be in contact with a network of co-ops in the Philippines that contributed to the ICA appeal – to find that they themselves had benefited from support from the international movement after a typhoon in the region some years before. It is self-help and mutual aid on a global level. So thank you to all our members who generously donated to the appeal.” Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK

Donations were gratefully recieved from:

  • The Co-op
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Southern Co-op
  • Lincolnshire Co-operative
  • Midcounties Co-operative
  • Central England Co-operative
  • Heart of England Co-operative
  • Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society
  • Co-op Culture
  • MK Sustain
  • CASE
  • Leeds Environmental Design Associates
  • East of England Co-operative
  • Scotmid Co-operative
  • Delta-T Devices
  • Phone Co-op
  • Co-op Party (Camden)
  • Magnolia FCU
  • Radstock Co-operative Society
  • Unicorn Grocery
  • Footprint Workers Co-operative