Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 9, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, received board approval for a $35 million
emergency investment program to help private companies restart operations
and preserve and create jobs in Haiti, in the wake of the devastating earthquake
that struck the country in January.
“IFC’s emergency program aims to help rebuild Haiti’s private sector
companies and to support their role in the recovery process by creating
or saving thousands of jobs,” said IFC’s CEO and Executive Vice President
Lars Thunell. “Support for the private sector is needed so that companies
can rebuild infrastructure, provide goods and services, and provide financing
for small businesses.”
IFC is responding quickly as part of the World Bank Group’s comprehensive
approach to support Haiti. In a meeting today in Washington D.C. with Haitian
President René Preval, World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick expressed
his condolences for the tragic loss of life from January's earthquake and
pledged the World Bank Group's continued support for government-led efforts
to reconstruct the country.
IFC’s program would finance six companies in key sectors, including manufacturing,
infrastructure, agribusiness and financial services. With a focus on creating
jobs, IFC aims to help these companies get back to business, preserve their
employees’ livelihoods, and reestablish critical supplies and services
to their communities. Support for each company is capped at $10 million.
IFC is also responding through its advisory services program to help companies
and government agencies expand Haiti’s special economic zones and improve
regulations to retain and attract investors. This will ensure that the
fast-growing garment sector can continue benefiting from the HOPE II Act
that encourages exports to the United States.
This emergency program is a first step in IFC support for Haiti. It
will be followed by additional investments for long-term financing in infrastructure
and other key sectors, as well as an expansion of IFC advisory services.
IFC provides financing and advisory services, as well as leverages donor
support for Haiti’s private sector to accelerate economic growth and improve
access to basic services, particularly for the most vulnerable groups.
Since 2006, IFC has committed $65 million in investment projects
in the country. IFC has ramped up activities in Haiti in the past
three years and established a full-time presence in the country in 2007.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.