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IFC helps demonstrate that profitable businesses can be developed with good international standards in Haiti. The Codevi textile factory is one of our flagship projects. Located in the northern town of Ouanaminthe, on the border of the Dominican Republic, Codevi is one of the largest private sector employers in a region where skilled jobs and income opportunities were scarce.
Codevi currently employs 7,000 people, up from 300 in 2006. Workers receive health and education benefits, a rarity for Haiti. In addition to the direct jobs, about 30,000 people in Ouanminthe derive their livelihoods from indirect activities associated with the plant’s operations, including as cooks, shop owners, and mechanics.
IFC has been a long-term partner in the project. We financed the initial construction, in 2003, and co-led a debt restructuring in 2006. In March 2010, following the earthquake in Haiti, IFC provided Codevi with a $6 million financing package, half of which was mobilized from the Soros Economic Development.
Then, in 2015, we provided $10 million to support an expansion that is expected to increase efficiency and meet growing demand. The number of employees is expected to grow to 9,000 in the next three years.
IFC’s relationship with Codevi is not restricted to the garment factory. Together, we have also partnered with Ashoka, a network of social entrepreneurs that disseminates goods and services. Through this project, several local businesses have been trained to sell products ranging from reading glasses to solar lamps, from high-efficiency cook stoves to water filters. Besides boosting the local economy, the technologies have brought benefits to local families, such as a reduction in energy bills.
Published in April 2016