World Council of Credit Unions' Haiti relief fund has exceeded $1 million in donations, the global development organization announced April 9. The fund provided immediate relief to victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake and will also be used to rebuild Haiti's credit unions.
Some of the largest single-donor gifts came from CUNA Mutual Group, Melrose Credit Union in Jamaica, N.Y., and the Irish League Credit Unions, WOCCU said in a release. The U.S. National Credit Union Foundation, the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada and the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions each led national fundraising efforts to support the campaign that also resulted in major contributions.
"The fact that so many individuals, credit unions and credit union organizations have responded to our call illustrates the compassion and unity found within our movement," said Pete Crear, WOCCU president and CEO. "We are honored and humbled to be able to help the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere begin its rebuilding efforts after suffering such a terrible disaster.
WOCCU was seven months into its first development efforts in Haiti when the earthquake struck. Staff now works with credit unions, local organizations and even Haiti's national regulator to provide short-term emergency relief efforts in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince and in nearby L?og?ne, the earthquake's epicenter.
Intermediate efforts also are underway to research possibilities for establishing a credit union-to-credit union remittance network so Haitians living abroad can send money back home. A WOCCU team is developing a long-term plan for rebuilding damaged credit unions.