What (Not) to Expect of Microfinance in Haiti - Testimony for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade

April 26, 2010

From David Roodman's testimony:

I highlight four priorities for supporting Haiti’s private sector:

  • Protect the vitality of Haiti’s microfinance institutions, in part by not drowning them with finance that must be shoveled out the door as microloans.

  • Give USAID and other agencies the flexibility to analyze and adapt to the strengths and weaknesses of the Haitian economy, procuring locally when possible, eliminating bottlenecks where possible, delivering in kind where necessary.

  • To help Haitians help themselves (through the private sector), seek innovative approaches to cash delivery that exploit the money transfer and mobile phone networks, whose combined reach is vast.

  • What Haitians want most is jobs; the best ways we have of generating those are buying more of what workers in Haiti make and allowing more Haitians to come to the United States to work.

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