Open for business in Haiti

Emergencies article written on the 10 Jan 2012

Enock is a supervisor at Fabhris Production, who received a grant from Oxfam. Photo: Jane Beesley/Oxfam

By Jane Beesley, Oxfam

The earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 resulted in one of the largest emergencies in recent years – killing over 220,000 people, displacing more than 1.5 million and devastating an already poor and weak economy. Today many people struggle to find work with many businesses no longer operating or struggling to survive and restart, but an Oxfam program is helping to provide new opportunities.

Following the initial emergency response, Oxfam have focussed on longer-term solutions to help Haiti rebuild, and one of their key programmes has been providing grants and loans (from US$500 to US$10,000) and training to small businesses.

The grants help to support enterprises with good business plans, who are able to employ at least two local people, and are environmentally friendly.

Through this pilot programme Oxfam has supported 108 small businesses, and assisted a further 53 people to develop their businesses. It’s a big step in the long road to recover, and Oxfam hopes to extend this program to others in the future.

Find out more

Read Caroline Gluck’s blog – 2 years on from Haiti earthquake

Read more about the challenges facing Haiti in our report Haiti: The Slow Road to Reconstruction-Two Years after the Earthquake