Port au Prince, Haiti, January 17, 2020—Georgina Baker, IFC (International Finance Corporation) Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia, started a visit to Haiti to meet with business leaders to discuss projects and private-sector investments that can help create more jobs, promote financial inclusion, and increase private sector participation in the delivery of much needed infrastructure services to the Haitian people.
“Haiti continues to face severe development challenges that require multilateral institutions like IFC to play an active role in finding innovative solutions to spur job creation and economic growth,” said Baker. “It’s important that Haiti maintains sound public policies and adheres to contractual obligations with investors so the private sector and foreign direct investment can be an engine of economic growth and sustainable development in the country. We are especially committed to working with Haiti to provide better infrastructure – including reliable and affordable energy that reaches people across the country.”
Some of IFC’s flagship projects in Haiti include financing power generation shortly after the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake. This investment in E-Power helped increase the electricity production capacity in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area by 35 percent and the company continues to provide reliable electricity to the city.
More recent examples of IFC projects in Haiti include a $2.5 million risk-sharing facility with Société Générale de Solidarité (Sogesol), a leading microfinance institution, to support SMEs and agribusiness in Haiti. Tackling the challenge of financial access for these businesses is especially vital to creating jobs as Haiti’s SMEs employ 8 out of every 10 workers in the country.
IFC also worked to help Haiti create the necessary conditions to develop the country’s leasing market, which can help small and medium-sized businesses obtain financing without in a more streamlined manner than typical commercial banks require to approve a loan. After helping to create the necessary conditions for a leasing market, IFC also approved a loan to Ayiti Leasing, the country’s first leasing company, which is starting to transform how small businesses pay for the much-needed equipment they need for their operations.
Another example of an IFC-supported project in Haiti is the Caribbean Bottling Company (CBC). Established in the 1970s, CBC employs 400 Haitians directly and provides jobs to hundreds of micro-retailers in its distribution network. IFC’s $5 million loan is helping the company double its production capacity and widen it’s its distribution network.
Ayiti Leasing, CBC and Sogesol received co-financing from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window, a global facility of concessional funds to support high-impact private sector investments in lower-income countries.
IFC’s operations in Haiti are focused on supporting projects that can bolster access to finance for SMEs and women, power generation, public-private partnerships in infrastructure, agribusiness and tourism in the country.