This week, OPIC’s President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield will lead a delegation of OPIC representatives on a visit to Haiti to launch an important mortgage finance project developed in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Development Innovations Group (DIG), a U.S.-based housing finance and urban development firm, will manage the project.
In Haiti, hundreds of thousands of people continue to live in tents and other temporary housing in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. This new project will combine loans from OPIC with grants from USAID and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to support microlending in amounts as small as $1,000 for micro-mortgages and home repairs for low-income borrowers. More than 4,000 Haitian families stand to benefit from this effort.
While in Haiti, OPIC will also meet with business leaders and Haitian government officials to gauge investment prospects in sectors including infrastructure and energy; food and economic security; health and other basic services. OPIC is actively reaching out to U.S. companies present in Haiti, as well as diaspora businesses and other investors in the U.S., to partner in projects that foster sustainable economic development by strengthening Haiti’s physical and financial infrastructure, and create jobs.
The delegation will also visit current OPIC project sites. OPIC’s current portfolio in Haiti totals more than $76 million across six projects. One project – recently featured on this blog – involves insurance for the expansion and reconstruction of a key flourmill that had been destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. The mill had produced as much as 95 percent of the flour consumed in Haiti, and restarting the mill has increased the country’s food production capacity and domestic food security.