More than £136,000 has already been raised by the UK’s co-ops to support long term co-operative reconstruction in areas hit by floods and hurricanes last month.
The emergency appeal was launched by Co-operatives UK following a suggestion from one if its members, the Southern Co-op. It will channel all the funds donated by UK co-operative organisations into on-the-ground support for co-ops and credit unions to provide sustainable and inclusive economic development.
The emergency fund was subsequently picked up by the global body for co-ops, the International Co-operative Alliance, which is appealing for donations from co-ops worldwide.
Organisations in the UK that have contributed include The Co-op Group, 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 and Scotmid Co-operative, Delta-T Devices, Phone Co-op, Co-op Party (Camden), Magnolia FCU, Radstock Co-operative Society, Unicorn Grocery and Footprint Workers Co-operative.
“In these moments of great concern and sadness we are grateful for the early gesture of solidarity from the co-operatives of Europe, who responded so quickly to the aid of those who most need it.” Jose Luis Blanco, head of the Americas region of the International Co-operative Alliance
The approach - of raising funds to support the development of co-ops to rebuild livelihoods and infrastructure - follows a tried and tested model. A similar approach was taken to support co-operative development in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Tsunami and in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. A small scale example of the impact it can make is brought to life in this short film on Haiti below.