U.S. Department of State

Economic Security: Two Year Fast Facts on the U.S. Government's Work in Haiti

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Fact Sheet
Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator
December 28, 2011

The Challenge

Even before the earthquake, Haiti faced significant challenges to economic security. The World Bank reported that the majority of businesses operate in the informal sector, employing approximately 80 percent of the total workforce. The Haitian economy continues to be primarily driven by these informal micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which generate up to 90 percent of new jobs. However, informal MSMEs have difficulties accessing financing from formal institutions, and are thus limited in their ability to grow. The wide-scale infrastructure damage caused by the earthquake further exacerbated the situation, disrupting businesses and destroying stores and other infrastructure. The most recent estimates indicate that 40 percent of the Haitian population is unemployed.

USG Strategy

Economic security is predicated on people having secure livelihoods. The U.S. Government (USG) is helping the Haitian government in its goal of creating jobs, with a corresponding increase in household incomes, savings, and assets―resulting in increased economic security. To achieve this goal, we are supporting policy reforms to make establishing and doing business in Haiti simpler, providing technical assistance and vocational training, and increasing access to capital.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Finance to improve budgeting, tax collection, and debt management in the public sector. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is carrying out the private sector USG strategy by creating jobs in targeted sectors and increasing access to capital from formal sources to stimulate growth and job opportunities. So far, we have:

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