Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Chile: Update on Fondo Esperanza and its borrowers

We have received the following update from Consuelo Herreros, Social Responsibility Manager at Kiva Field Partner Fondo Esperanza, following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27th:

“Of our 25 national offices, 60% (15 offices) are operating under completely normal conditions. Of the rest, 5 offices are operating in a state of emergency, since they lack electricity and basic services, and the remaining 5 offices (20%) are not operating because they are located in the area of the catastrophe (Regions VII and VIII).

In regards to the Fondo Esperanza borrowers who have been affected by the earthquake, half of our total loan portfolio (20,000 borrowers) is located in the area of the catastrophe. We have suspended communal bank meetings due to the difficulty of traveling to meeting places. In the coming days, our regional offices Рwith the support of our main office Рwill be communicating with all of the affected communal banks (500 in all) to evaluate their situations. We are particularly concerned about communal banks located in the communities of Concepción, Lota, Coronel, Talcahuano, Tome, San Pedro, Talca, Linares, Curicó, Sagrada Familia and in rural areas of Region VI.

We are confident that Fondo Esperanza will emerge in good shape following this event, thanks to the strength and hard work of our staff, borrowers and supporters.”

Our thoughts are with Fondo Esperanza staff and borrowers during this difficult moment. We will continue to post updates on the situation as they become available.