Once again climate change is showing its dramatic effects in Europe, with tragic consequences.
After the floods that hit the Karditsa region last year in Greece, in July an unprecedented series of floods hit Belgium and in particular the Wallonia region.
In the two rounds of flooding that occurred in southern and central Belgium, 42 people lost their lives and extensive damage to households, companies and public infrastructure was recorded. More than 15.000 people required relocation as their residences were to- tally or partly destroyed.
In this unprecedented situation, our founding member Credal immediately mobilised its resources and means to provide support to the concerned communities.
In particular, professional customers located in the affected areas were contacted by their advisor within Credal to offer:
– An open channel to communicate and dialogue;
– An orientation towards the various aids put in place by the Walloon government for concerned communities and businesses;
– on a case-by-case basis, a reschedule of monthly payments if necessary.
Regarding individual customers, Credal’s advisers are particularly attentive in monitoring possible late payments and proactive in contacting people located in the most hit areas. New loan requests, which will most likely become a priority in the weeks to come, are be- ing closely assessed, making sure to reorient clients first towards the various mechanisms of public aid and solidarity available.
“Credit is certainly not the first solution for this situation. Credal’s team is monitoring the situation closely. The floods’s aftermath will have enormous impacts on our individual customers and on the evolution of their needs in the coming months” says Isabelle Philippe, General Manager of Credal and Board member of FEBEA.
As always, in “normal” times but especially in situation of difficulty, Ethical Finance organisations like Credal are ready to listen to the needs expressed by individuals and social economy organisations, and adapt their offer, services and support accordingly.
These initiatives once again show the deep connection of Ethical Finance organisations with their territories, which allows to provide concrete answers to clients and communities – Read our report on the Ethical Finance response to the Covid Crisis.
The floods in Wallonia are also a reminder of how important it is to promote a vision of society and economy that values the respect of the environment and natural resources. That’s why it is more important than ever to promote a financial sector that is aware and accountable for the impacts of the projects it finances. We need a truly sustainable finance, and we need it now.
FEBEA and its members are working to ensure that the upcoming EU initiatives and pro- grammes such as InvestEu, the Action Plan for the Social Economy, the Green Deal include specific measures to facilitate access to finance for projects with positive environ- mental and societal impacts, following the principles that have guided Ethical Finance organisations for more than 30 years.
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