Friday, November 2, 2012

Week in Review: Natural Disasters affect us all

The same week that the SF Giants became World Series Champions -- which had the Bay Area cheering from Sonoma to San Jose -- our friends and family on the East Coast were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

Kiva representing at the Giants parade in downtown San Francisco.

The dichotomy between the images of revelry in San Francisco and the horrific devastation on the East Coast is alarming.

Here at Kiva, we have been closely following the news and are inspired by everyone who has come together to reshape affected communities.

Global issues and alleviation of poverty are at the forefront of Kiva's goals, so we wanted to highlight the impact Hurricane Sandy has had not only on the U.S. but also in the Caribbean, where the death toll has climbed past 70.

The death toll in the Caribbean from Hurricane Sandy continues to rise and estimates of damage and destruction it caused grew larger as more complete assessments emerged from throughout the region.
In Jamaica, where Sandy's center made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane and killed one man, the economic toll of the storm was at least $16.5 million, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller announced Tuesday.

In many ways, natural disasters illustrate the interconnectivity we have as global citizens. As part of the Kiva community, we know that microfinance is an essential tool for people in disaster situations, enabling them to start rebuilding their lives and improving their living conditions.

Below, are a few Haitian borrowers who are close to their fundraising goals and could use a boost during these uncertain times.

The group of Le Marges de Ponigo is located in the northern region of Haiti where electricity is scarce and water is very limited. Their group loan of $5,000 is almost complete and they are $750 away from their goal. Their food sales business needs the loan to expand and help with coal sales, clothing sales and cosmetics sales.

Convention De Bedou Group's $4,550 loan will help members purchase clothing to sell. They are more than half-way to their goal. They live in the Ferrier region of Haiti, which also suffers from lack of infrastructure and resources.

Giving is universal, and there are many ways to help during this crisis. If you want to lend to more borrowers from Haiti you can read their stories and lend on the website.

Want to learn more about how to help? Comments? Questions? Email us at

Media provided by ABC News & The Christian Science Monitor.