World Council of Credit Unions' Haitian HIFIVE microfinance project staff members are uninjured and accounted for, according to intermittently received e-mails from Greta Greathouse, chief of party for the effort.
However, there has been significant destruction to the island that is home to 400,000-plus credit union members, said Mike Muckian, senior manager of communications.
Muckian said WOCCU hasn't yet received reports of destroyed credit unions, but said "you have to believe, from looking at pictures so far, that most buildings have probably been destroyed in Port-au-Prince, including credit unions."
In July 2009, WOCCU launched the three-year program to extend financial services to Haiti's rural poor with funding from the United States Agency for International Development. According to reports, reverberations from the earthquake's epicenter, located 10 miles south of Port-au-Prince, have all but leveled Haiti's capital city.
WOCCU is now accepting donations to provide assistance to Haiti and its people. To support Haiti's credit unions and their members through the international credit union disaster relief fund, donations may be made online with a credit card at www.woccu.org /give. U.S. credit unions can also support WOCCU's relief efforts by donating through the National Credit Union Foundation's CUAid system at www.CUAid.coop.