Media Advisory: ILO works with ACCU to build resilience in Anguilla after disaster

News | 24 April 2018
PORT OF SPAIN (ILO News) – The Anguilla Co-operative Credit Union Limited (ACCU) together with the International Labour Organization (ILO) will host a capacity-building workshop on April 27-28, 2018 at (INSERT VENUE). Media are invited to attend the workshop.

The workshop aims to enhance the skills of Management, Supervisory, Credit Committee members and other interested stakeholders; to increase the capacity, knowledge and awareness on the role of cooperatives in resilience-building after a crisis; and to enhance the skills and institutional coordination of the ACCU to support SMEs and members’ livelihoods after a crisis.

After a fairly robust performance in the first half of 2017, the economy of Anguilla was battered by a catastrophic, Category 5 hurricane in September. Hurricane Irma resulted in severe infrastructural damage and one confirmed fatality. In the storm’s aftermath, the overwhelming majority of income, employment, and foreign exchange activities decelerated, dampening overall economic activity. The tourism sector, the main driver of growth, declined as damaged hotels closed. Electricity and water production contracted, as did most of the other major economic sectors, with the exception of construction. An impact assessment estimated the damage and losses, as a result of the hurricane, at $880 million, 97% of the 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Government of Anguilla (GOA) was able to finance its budget, aided by financial buffers including catastrophic insurance proceeds, grant-in-aid budget support, and the government’s  own liquid reserves.

Since the hurricane, the economic situation has worsened and interest rates for borrowing for rebuilding have been very high.  It is therefore very difficult for livelihoods to be maintained.  There is evidence of increased pockets of poverty and business closures on the island.

Against this backdrop it is recognized that there is an urgent need for building resilience. As a means of supporting livelihoods and resilience building, cooperatives have been singled out by citizens in the country as having an important role to play, since by their lending policies, they can assist in increasing the disposable incomes and purchasing power of their membership and the wider public.

As such, ACCU has specifically targeted SMEs, especially those in the tourism sector, self- employed persons, teachers’ union and church cooperatives from amongst its membership.

For further information please contact:

Gennike Mayers | | +1 (868) 623 7178/ 7704 ext 412
Averlon Toussaint | | +1 (868) 623 7178/ 7704 ext 411