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MIF partners with LE LEVIER Credit Union Federation to promote savings by remittance clients in Haiti

Mar 11, 2015

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has recently approved a technical cooperation grant of US$553,000 for a project with Haiti’s LE LEVIER Credit Union Federation (Fédération LE LEVIER) that will seek to reduce the economic vulnerability of remittance clients all 10 departments in Haiti by developing financial products and services for savings. Savings accounts are a key element in the financial inclusion of low-income individuals, helping them to handle short-term liquidity for convenience and security, and build up assets to cover future needs.

Every year Haitian migrants send a significant amount of remittances back to their families in their home couuntry: in 2013, the total remittance flow to Haiti reached almost US$2 billion, representing an estimated 25% of the country´s GDP. These remittances, on average US$ 106 per transfer per month, were mainly paid in cash. The common practice of paying out remittances in cash creates a strong disincentive for the financial inclusion of remittance recipients.

The project with the LE LEVIER Federation will first carry out a market assessment in order to understand Haitian remittance recipients’ needs and preferences for financial services. Subsequently, liquid and commitment savings products will be developed, as well as a loan product targeted to remittance recipients. LE LEVIER will pilot this strategy in 5 credit unions, and after adjustments will expand it to 20 credit unions.

This project is part of the MIF’s Remittances and Savings Program and will build on existing partnerships that credit unions within the LE LEVIER Federation network have established with money transfer operators, including Boom Financial, MoneyGram, Western Union, CAM, and Ria Financial; and Canadian financial institution Desjardins, which provides cross-border money transfer services in the United States, Canada, and Haiti.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small and medium business models. More information can be found at www.fomin.org.

About the MIF’s Remittances and Savings Program

The Remittances and Savings Program, led by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, promotes the development of business strategies that improve access to and use of formal savings products adapted to the needs and preferences of international remittance clients. The Remittances and Savings Program receives expertise and funding from the MIF, CAF - Development Bank of Latin America, and the aid program of the Government of Australia (Australian Aid). Learn more at www.remittancesandsavings.org


About the Haitian Credit Union Federation LE LEVIER

The Haitian Credit Union Federation LE LEVIER (La Fédération des Caisses Populaires Haïtiennes-LE LEVIER) is a network of credit unions that provides services to 29 credit union affiliated members and 13 non-affiliated members. To date, Fédération LE LEVIER credit unions cover the 10 departments of Haiti with 68 service points and 450,000 clients mainly from rural areas. It is estimated that 70-80% of these clients are part of the poor and low income segment of the population in Haiti. The Fédération provides technical assistance and training to credit union members and nonmembers in areas such as governance, financial management tools, and network information systems among other services. Learn more at www.lelevier.ht

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