SOURCE: Fonkoze


February 11, 2010 11:28 ET

Five Ways That Fonkoze Is Helping to Stimulate Haiti's Economy

Innovative Products and Services for Development Agencies, Donors and the Haitian People

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI--(Marketwire - February 11, 2010) - Fonkoze, Haiti's largest micro-finance institution, is announcing five key ways it is helping to stimulate the economy of Haiti. Along with micro-finance, Fonkoze is delivering other valuable solutions to help tackle complex problems like migration, access to financial services and transfers from abroad, housing, "work-for-cash" payroll facilitation and investment intermediation.

Fonkoze is moving quickly to help rebuild Haiti and enable lasting development founded on a strong, participatory economy. The organization has the deepest, most rural network of any financial institution in the country with 42 branches and reaches over one million poor Haitians and their families.

The five key ways Fonkoze is stimulating Haiti's economy are:

1. Facilitating the transfer of money into Haiti - Fonkoze is a major payer of remittances, money sent by family and friends abroad, including Fonkoze USA Development Partners and countless other organizations, to those in Haiti. These transfers are now essential to helping Haitians rebuild and adjust to their new lives, especially in Haiti's provinces where large numbers have migrated. Fonkoze has the widest reaching well-developed network of branches in rural Haiti.

2. Helping Haitians recover from loss and rebuild their micro-businesses - Fonkoze is committed to helping its clients get back on the "staircase out of poverty." The early stages of a program to restructure and recapitalize outstanding micro-loans and provide critical livelihood assistance have begun. Fonkoze has extensive experience helping its clients recover from disasters. For example, following the hurricanes which devastated Haiti in 2008, Fonkoze, with the support of major international partners, developed an innovative loan restructuring program that was enormously successful.

3. Payroll services for "cash-for-work" programs - Fonkoze has years of experience disbursing money in remote and/or high-risk zones. Many development organizations are organizing "cash-for-work" programs that establish short-term jobs on recovery and redevelopment projects. Fonkoze's expertise will aid the safe, transparent, and effective disbursal of cash payroll for these workers.

4. Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM) and TiKredi - These programs are designed to lift the very poorest in Haiti to the point where they too can participate in the economy. Combining grants, loans, skills training and case management, these programs build confidence and skills to start micro enterprises and grow rural Haiti's economy.

5. Linking the most promising Haitian enterprises with donors and investors in the Haitian Diaspora - Fonkoze is a major partner in Zafen, a major forthcoming initiative that will link the most promising investment opportunities in Haiti with the Haitian Diaspora and other friends of Haiti.

About Fonkoze

Fondasyon Kole Zépol (Fonkoze) is Haiti's largest, most innovative micro-finance institution with over 200,000 clients. It operates 42 branches across Haiti and in every province of the country, including many towns and villages where no commercial banks operate. It is the institution on which Haiti's poor have relied on, especially during crisis, since 1994.

Micro-finance helps unlock the entrepreneurial potential of the poor with small loans and other assistance they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Fonkoze also offers micro-insurance services, education, literacy, and health programs, remittance payment services, and savings accounts for more than 200,000 clients. Overall, Fonkoze directly touches the lives of more than one million Haitians.

Fonkoze targets the poorest of the poor in Haiti. As of 2007, 79 percent of Haitians were living on less than $2 per day and 55 percent were living on less than $1 per day. More than 99 percent of the people receiving Fonkoze loans are women and the average size of Fonkoze's basic loan is just $172.

Fonkoze pioneered micro-life insurance in Haiti with its Haitian partner Alternative Insurance Company. Families who make claims receive relief from their loved one's debt and $125 to help the family cope with the financial shock. Fonkoze has its own remittance service and is also a vendor for MoneyGram, CAM and Unitransfer.

Among others, Fonkoze partners with the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, Partners in Health, USAID, World Vision, Whole Planet Foundation (Whole Foods Market), Grameen Foundation (Alex Counts, Grameen Foundation President, serves as chair of Fonkoze USA), Oikocredit, MEDA, CGAP and other major development agencies and organizations. With over 95 percent Haitian senior staff and a highly-skilled, Haitian-majority management team, Fonkoze is building the foundations for democracy and sustainable development.

Contact Information

  • For more information, please contact:
    Anne Hastings
    +1 305-420-6192 (Tele)
    +509 3701-3910 (Haiti tele)
    Email Contact

    Leigh Carter
    Fonkoze USA
    +1 202-628-9033 (Tele)
    +1 202-746-7053 (cell)
    Email Contact