The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines has established a $25 million fund to aid disaster victims in its region. The money is available to Home Loan Bank members in federally declared disaster areas. Members may borrow from the fund at below market rates and then lend the money to customers victimized by floods, tornadoes, and other disasters.

The Home Loan Bank has set up disaster relief funds on an as-needed basis in the past. When flooding devastated North Dakota last year, for example, it created a $50 million fund that was later increased to $125 million.

With the new fund, the Home Loan Bank can respond to demands immediately and without red tape, said Thurman C. Connell, president.

"Looking back to the devastating flooding in the Upper Midwest in the spring of '97 and to the tornadoes that have recently destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, we realized we have to be called upon more and more frequently by our members to provide as much assistance as possible, as quickly as possible," Mr. Connell said.

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