Emergency Responses

Humanitarian Relief 

The ILCU Foundation developed its own Humanitarian Emergency Funding Policy whereby consideration is given under four headings: Project Focus | Organisation Selection | Available Funding | Extraneous Circumstances

Over the years the ILCU Foundation has provided funding towards a number or Humanitarian Disasters that have occurred around the world, to help and support people who have suffered from a natural disaster. We have partnered with leading international NGO’s, relief agencies and local organisations to ensure that we can restore people’s lives back to normal as quickly as possible. We have the ability to respond effectively and efficiently to an emergency due to the generosity and support of our credit union partners and their members’.



In September 2018, a powerful magnitude 7.5 earthquake, triggered a tsunami and devastated coastal areas in Central Sulawesi. The initial figures following the aftermath had 1,407 confirmed fatalities, 2,549 injured, 113 people still missing, 70,821 persons displaced in 141 sites, and 65,733 houses partially or completely damaged.

220 shelter kits were provided to families.

The ILCU Foundation donated €25,000 to Plan International towards the efforts of those on the ground to help those most affected by the earthquake. The funding allowed Plan International to provide shelter kit distributions to 220 households in 2 sub districts of Sigi (Kulawi and Lindu), reaching over 1,000 individuals. Each of the 220 shelter kits provided through ILCUF assistance contained two tarpaulin sheets (6x4m), two lengths of plastic rope (30mx5mm), four sleeping mats (2x1.8m) and four blankets (1.8x1.1m). The shelter kit distribution was intended to help the affected families access safe emergency shelter before they transition into more lasting solution.

The full report and project spend can be found here.



Starting in late 2016, the ILCU Foundation’s development partners that work with credit unions in East Africa were crying out for help to fight the third year of drought in a row in the region. For this reason, in April 2017, the ILCU Foundation, pledged €50,000 to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.

Gorta-Self Help Africa (Gorta-SHA) in Ethiopia, and Aidlink in Turkana, Kenya, will manage our 2017 emergency response.

Gorta-SHA will distribute emergency food and seed aid to households in the Oromia Region of Southern Ethiopia, where several of the Foundation’s credit union projects are located.

Aidlink, via their Kenyan partner, Caritas Lodwar, will distribute prescription food to 3,000 severely malnourished children, with emphasis on those under 5 years of age.

In a call to action by the United Nations (UN) in February 2017, it was reported that 12.8 million people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and Somalia were suffering from extreme food shortages. According to the UN, “multiple years of diminished food production has exhausted people’s capacity to cope with another shock.”[1]
“Approximately 600,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia will be in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in 2017.”

  • Almost dry waterhole in Turkana, Kenya. Photo credit: Aidlink.ie


Ecuador - Earthquake 2016 

In 2016, the ILCU Foundation responded to the earthquake in Ecuador by contributing €25,000 to support the rebuilding of credit unions there.

In April 2016, hundreds of lives were lost and credit unions devastated in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake near Ecuador's northern coast, where the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) had been working to bring payment systems to rural credit unions.

Each supported credit union reported that major constructional repairs were required; with some credit unions noting that extensive damage to top level floors would require demolition. In some cases, credit unions were destroyed beyond repair and required full demolition. The ILCU Foundation donation was made to WOCCU on behalf of credit unions in Ireland.

  • Santa Ana Credit Union: the top floors of the building had to be demolished after the earthquake.


Refugee Crisis 

A young mother with a
child speaks with a first
responder outside
Milan Central Station

Irish credit unions and the ILCU Foundation provided a donation of up to €25,000 to help children who have lost parents and guardians as they arrived in Milan Central Station; the ILCU Foundation has partnered with Plan International Ireland who established a HUB in the station to provide aid to the influx of migrants and refugees.

This donation supported the needs of unaccompanied minors and families with children by providing them with food, water and first medical aid as they reached Milan, Spain.

The generous donation helped to bolster the recovery efforts by supplying and distributing 1,600 emergency kits to unaccompanied refugee minors who are fleeing from insecurity and conflict in Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and the Sub Sahara.

The full report, including the budget breakdown, can be found here.


Nepal - Earthquake 

The disastrous earthquake killed over 5,000 people, injured thousands of men, women and children.

In 2015, Nepal suffered from the most powerful natural disaster since the 1934 Nepal - Bihar earthquake. The disastrous earthquake killed over 5,000 people, injured thousands of men, women and children and displaced millions from their homes.

Irish credit unions in partnership with ILCU Foundation committed to providing €50,000 to support the revitalization of Nepalese credit unions which were destroyed, and to support staff and members affected by one of the worst natural disasters in recent times. The fund enabled thousands of members to begin to rebuild their lives and provide for their families once more.

The full report, including the budget breakdown, can be found here. The remainder of the financial commitment (€40,000) will go towards the revitalisation of the credit union system; the ILCU Foundation will provide an update with regard to this project in the coming months.


Philippines - Super Typhoon Haiyan  

Thousands of homes owned by members of credit unions in the Philippines were completely destroyed.

Irish credit unions in partnership with the ILCU Foundation provided €60,000 to help those affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan. A major element of the fund, administered by the ILCU Foundation, in conjunction with the Canadian Co-operative Association and the World Council of Credit Unions, went towards supporting the National Federation of Co-operatives for Persons with Disabilities in the Philippines (NFCPWD).

The NFCPWD, a federation of worker co-operatives for persons with disabilities, suffered catastrophic damage to their facilities and equipment. NFCPWD members experienced irreparable damage to their homes and communities.

The assistance provided by the Irish credit union movement went towards enabling their members to rebuild their homes and return to their livelihoods as soon as possible. Nearly 2,000 members and their families benefitted from the financial support provided.