Wednesday, February 17, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) will extend a $50 million special line of credit, as well as direct loans and discounted political risk insurance for non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to support Haiti’s reconstruction and relief efforts following the January 12 earthquake, OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli announced today.
“The devastation caused by the earthquake has earned Haiti the support and compassion of the entire international community. OPIC has expedited a series of initiatives that will both ease immediate humanitarian efforts to assist Haitians, and support longer-term investment in Haiti’s reconstruction. OPIC has a long history in Haiti, and we will utilize that experience to encourage new American private sector investment in the country,” Dr. Spinelli said.
Specifically, OPIC will offer Haiti an immediate special line of credit of up to $50 million to access OPIC financing and political risk insurance for investment in the country.
Secondly, OPIC will offer significantly discounted political risk insurance to support first responders – typically American NGOs and other humanitarian operations – providing disaster relief in Haiti. The OPIC insurance will be available to protect assets such as vehicles, equipment, inventory, supplies or other property that are deployed on the ground to carry out humanitarian or rebuilding and reconstruction activities.
Finally, OPIC will offer direct loans to American NGOs currently assisting humanitarian efforts in Haiti. The loans will target NGOs that had exhausted their operating cash flow, enabling them to continue to operate.
Dr. Spinelli noted that over its 39-year history, OPIC had provided more than $207 million in financing and political risk insurance to 75 projects in Haiti, in sectors ranging from agriculture and financial services to construction and manufacturing. OPIC’s current portfolio in Haiti comprises nearly $23 million in insurance support for three projects.