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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."

To see some of Fonkoze’s inspirational borrowers and savers, check out Laura’s photo essay as well as our article and slideshow on a Fonkoze vitamin distribution clinic in Mirebalais, Haiti.


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