Harvard University has established an emergency relief fund to assist employees who have been directly affected by the tragedy unfolding in Haiti.

The Harvard Haiti Emergency Relief Fund for employees, announced today (Jan. 22) by President Drew Faust, was created to help members of the staff and faculty who have lost loved ones or otherwise suffered personally as a result of the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti. Vendor employees working on campus also are eligible for assistance.

“We have learned that at least 75 people who work at our University have direct ties to Haiti, and many of them are coping with the loss of loved ones or struggling to assist friends and relatives who have been left homeless,” Faust said. “The establishment of this fund helps us to come together as a community at a time of great need and assist some of the men and women whose work supports Harvard’s mission every day.”

Employees at Harvard facing significant personal or family hardships and unanticipated expenses are eligible to apply for funds to help pay for housing, food, travel, medical, or other personal expenses for themselves or dependent family members in Haiti.

Established with contributions from the University and the Harvard University Employees Credit Union, the fund will be administered by the Credit Union. Faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to consider contributing to the fund. Visit the Credit Union Web site for details on how to donate online, in person, or by mail.

The Credit Union also will offer a zero-interest loan program to supplement the relief fund. “It is our hope that these loans will provide an additional measure of support to families who are coping with tremendous hardships,” said Gene Foley, president of the Credit Union.

Details about the relief fund program, on who is eligible, and about how to apply will be posted on Harvie on Monday (Jan. 25).

An orphanage regroups