Sunday, February 28, 2010

Earthquake in Chile: Update on Kiva borrowers and Field Partner Fondo Esperanza

As many of you have probably heard, a 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile on Saturday morning. The southern part of the country was the area hardest hit by the quake, particularly Concepcion, the country's second largest city.

Kiva currently has one field partner in Chile, Fondo Esperanza. We have not yet been able to contact the staff at Fondo Esperanza. Many of the telecommunication systems in Chile appear to be struggling, so it has been difficult to obtain information. We do know that in the Maule region, near the epicenter of the earthquake, Fondo Esperanza has many borrowers. The majority of the loans Fondo Esperanza has funded through Kiva were from this area, so no doubt borrowers are likely affected there, hopefully not seriously.

We are working to get more information as soon as possible, and will be providing a further update as we receive it. Our thoughts go out to the staff of Fondo Esperanza, all their borrowers, and of course the rest of the population in Chile.

In the meantime, if you are looking for ways to help, you can refer to this link.