WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund today announced nearly $1.5 million in new grants that will further help individuals, families, communities, and enterprises achieve their full potential in post-earthquake Haiti.
With a focus on longer-term reconstruction – especially job creation and the promotion of economic opportunity – the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues to work toward a more vibrant, decentralized, inclusive, and competitive economy in which every Haitian has the opportunity to succeed.
The two grants announced today will support Haiti's small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) devastated by the January 12 disaster, provide job training, and make available microcredit loans, while also filling near-term gaps that make long-term reconstruction possible.
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's $500,000 grant to Fonkoze will establish a pilot program that creates a network of qualified Haitian business analysts, deploying them throughout Haiti to identify and evaluate promising small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Fonkoze, in partnership with Mercy Corps, The Vincentian Family, DePaul University, the Haitian Hometown Association Resource Group and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will help facilitate access to capital for investment-ready enterprises. It will also establish an innovative voucher program providing business development services to enterprises that are investment-worthy, helping them strengthen their business practices and become investment-ready and eligible to access commercial credit. "Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's grant was essential in getting this crucial pilot program off the ground;" said Anne Hastings, Chief Executive Officer, Fonkoze Financial Services, "with their support we'll be able to transition more businesses to the formal sector, increase their ability to get capital, and help establish business practices that will aid in long-term growth."
Fonkoze is the largest microfinance institution in Haiti, serving more than 45,000 female borrowers (most of whom live and work in rural areas) and more than 200,000 depositors. With a network of 42 branches covering every province of Haiti, Fonkoze is the only microfinance institution that is truly national in scope. It is well-positioned to address the pressing need to quickly rebuild Haiti's small and medium-sized business sector, which plays a pivotal role in Haiti's economy and has suffered major devastation. Its website, Zafen.org, meaning It's Our Business in Haitian Creole, was created to facilitate collaboration between Haiti-based business owners and people interested in supporting the Haitian economy. Zafen.org provides Haitian SMEs with access to capital through zero-interest loans and grants.
Clinton Bush Haiti Fund's grant of just under $1 million to Les Centres GHESKIO will help launch a workforce development program that will offer job training for 600 men, women, and youth in construction trades and other marketable skills. The grant will also provide microcredit services to 500 beneficiaries and will help maintain GHESKIO's delivery of key medical and social services to its approximately 7,000 tent city residents.
GHESKIO is a 28-year-old Haitian healthcare organization that was the first research institution in the world dedicated to HIV-AIDS. It also operates the largest tuberculosis clinic in Haiti. Following the earthquake, GHESKIO took on a new role, managing a camp providing shelter and services for displaced Haitians. GHESKIO was the recipient of an initial Clinton Bush Haiti Fund grant of $600,000 in January 2010 to help it meet such emergency humanitarian needs. Funds from the grant announced today will support provision of vocational training, microfinance loans to new and existing small businesses, psycho-social counseling and primary education, as well as the continuation of life-saving health and nutrition services for GHESKIO temporary camp residents.
"We are grateful for the catalytic affect generated by the first grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. The initial investment in GHESKIO's school helped lay a foundation upon which MAC Cosmetics was inspired to build with their own grant for our new Nutrition Services and Training Center," said Dr. Jean Pape, Founder and Executive Director of Les Centres GHESKIO. "This second grant from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is well-timed as we take our next step toward transitioning our clients from managing an emergency back to managing their own lives through self-sustaining jobs and transferrable skills."
About the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded after Haiti's January 12, 2010 earthquake, when President Barack Obama asked Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to lead a major fundraising effort to assist the Haitian people to "build back better." The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund primarily focuses on longer-term, sustainable economic reconstruction designed to create jobs and promote economic opportunity. Its aim is to help create an economy in which all Haitians have the opportunity to prosper and achieve their full potential.
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SOURCE Clinton Bush Haiti Fund