Microbanks in Haiti
Saturday’s New York Times carried a good story about some of the many challenges microbanks face in Haiti. One of those banks is Fonkoze, the microfinance organization my colleague Laura and I visited last month. Fonkoze serves about 45,000 women in 43 branches all over the country.
Like other banks for the poor, Fonkoze tries to help clients make financial headway in a country with little infrastructure. It’s a difficult feat. As reporter Daniel Costello notes, Haiti’s economy is expected to contract by as much as 9 percent this year. This makes the work of microbanks critical:
"Their importance to hundreds of thousands of Haitian borrowers and savers gives these little institutions an outsize importance, making them ‘simply too big to fail,’ said Greta Greathouse, a consultant with the U.S. Agency for International Development’s microsavings and lending program in Haiti."
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