Greta Greathouse, chief of party for World Council of Credit Unions' Haitian HIFIVE microfinance program, reported to WOCCU headquarters via e-mail that staff members are uninjured and accounted for. 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.
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.
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."
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, make payments via check, credit card or wire to: Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Inc., 5710 Mineral Point Rd., Madison, WI 53705. 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.