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

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Fact Sheet
Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator
October 22, 2012


The Challenge

Even before the earthquake, Haiti faced significant challenges to economic security. The Haitian economy is primarily driven by informal micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which generate up to 80 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 other assets―resulting in increased economic security. To achieve this goal, the USG is: helping the GOH to attract foreign direct investment, and is supporting value chains related to foreign direct investment and USG investments, such as energy, health, and housing; working with local financial institutions and investment opportunities to increase access to finance; and supporting GOH efforts to increase tax and customs revenue generation.

Accomplishments

The U.S. Department of 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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