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Hope for Haiti’s Caisses Populaires

7 April 2015

Haiti’s economic future looks brighter, thanks to technology, persistence, and help from the global credit union community.

Since 2009, World Council of Credit Unions has led the USAID-funded Haiti Integrated Financing for Value Chains and Enterprises (HIFIVE) program to:
- Stimulate the economy through financial sector development;
- Promote job creation;
- Improve livelihoods; and
- Contribute to the sustainable and lasting development of Haitian enterprises, particularly in rural areas.

HIFIVE works with local credit unions, called caisses populaires, and other financial institutions to expand outreach to new markets, reduce costs, and develop financial products and services for Haiti’s rural communities, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises; producers; and farmers.

While these institutions continue rebuilding following a devastating earthquake in 2010, HIFIVE’s work to promote mobile money increases the availability of financial services using technology.

Of the country’s 70 credit unions, nearly half are newly engaged in value chain finance, and 24 now use information and communication technology tools to
increase access to finance.

These credit unions serve 660,000 Haitians, mostly living in rural areas. To date, members have received $98 million in loans, mainly agricultural. As World Council finishes its final year in Haiti this month, credit unions continue to grow, mobilize share savings, and distribute and collect loans for productive activities.

Given credit unions’ success under difficult conditions, financial freedom beyond rebuilding remains hopeful in Haiti.

Learn more about World Council’s efforts in Haiti at hifiveproject.org.

Source: WOCCU

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