WHERE WE WORK


CHES Work


We at CHES concentrate our entrepreneur financing activities in the Northern part of Haiti. We offer business education and mentoring all over the country. See the locations where we have offered, currently offer or plan to offer our services in Haiti below. Also, below is some history and current context of Haiti today.

Haitian History:

Haiti is located in the Caribbean between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It is the western one-third of the island of Hispaniola, west of the Dominican Republic. The native Taino people first inhabited Haiti and rest of the island which it shares with the Dominican Republic before Christopher Columbus discovered it in 1492. The spanish explorer renamed the island Hispaniola. The Taino’s had named the island Ayiti (Haiti in Kreyol) which means “land of mountains”. Spaniards and the French settled Hispaniola and wiped out the Taino people.  The French occupied what is now Haiti and brought African slaves to the island. The island, Hispaniola was known as the “Pèrle of the Antilles.” The country had a lucrative sugar and cocoa trade among many other natural resources. The slaves fought, won and bought their independence from France in 1804 to become the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world. For over 200 years,  between 1804 and 2010, Haiti paid  France ~ $21B for its independence. The Haitian independence resulted in the Louisiana Purchase between France and the United States in 1803.


Population: ~10 million people (95% black and 5% mulatto and white)

Religion: 80% Catholic, 16% Protestant and 50% Voodoo

Language: French and Kreyòl

Currently the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. A massive magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010 with an epicenter about 25 km (15 mi) west of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Estimates are that over 300,000 people were killed and some 1.5 million left homeless.

Haitian Economy:

Since the earthquake, homelessness has declined from 1.5 million people to approximately 30 thousand people. France forgave the balance, $1.2 billion, of Haiti’s freedom debt. Haiti’s outstanding external debt has since risen to $1.43 billion as of December 2014. The government relies on formal international economic assistance for fiscal sustainability, with over half of its annual budget coming from outside sources.

Haiti is a free market economy that enjoys the advantages of low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports.  80% of the population lives under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation. US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Preference Agreement (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE II) Act helped increase apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. Congress voted in 2010 to extend the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020 under the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act; the apparel sector accounts for about 90% of Haitian exports and nearly one-twentieth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling one-fifth of GDP and representing more than five times the earnings from exports in 2012. Haiti suffers from a lack of investment, partly because of weak infrastructure such as access to electricity.



Haiti is a free market economy that enjoys the advantages of low labor costs and tariff-free access to the US for many of its exports.  80% of the population lives under the poverty line and 54% in abject poverty. Two-fifths of all Haitians depend on the agricultural sector, mainly small-scale subsistence farming, and remain vulnerable to damage from frequent natural disasters, exacerbated by the country’s widespread deforestation. US economic engagement under the Caribbean Basin Trade Preference Agreement (CBTPA) and the 2008 Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE II) Act helped increase apparel exports and investment by providing duty-free access to the US. Congress voted in 2010 to extend the CBTPA and HOPE II until 2020 under the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act; the apparel sector accounts for about 90% of Haitian exports and nearly one-twentieth of GDP. Remittances are the primary source of foreign exchange, equaling one-fifth of GDP and representing more than five times the earnings from exports in 2012. Haiti suffers from a lack of investment, partly because of weak infrastructure such as access to electricity.

Currency: Haitian Gourdes (HTG)

GDP – real growth rate:

3.8% (2014 est.)

4.3% (2013 est.)

2.9% (2012 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$1,800 (2014 est.)

$1,700 (2013 est.)

$1,700 (2012 est.)

note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP – composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 24.7%

industry: 20%

services: 55.3% (2014 est.)

Agriculture – products:

coffee, mangoes, cocoa, sugarcane, rice, corn, sorghum; wood, vetiver

Industries:

textiles, sugar refining, flour milling, cement, light assembly using imported parts

Taxes and other revenues:

20% of GDP (2014 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

4.3% (2014 est.)

5.9% (2013 est.)

Exports:

$903.1 million (2014 est.)

$883.7 million (2013 est.)

Exports – commodities:

apparel, manufactures, oils, cocoa, mangoes, coffee

Exports – partners:

US 83.5% (2013)

Imports:

$3.458 billion (2014 est.)

$3.329 billion (2013 est.)

Imports – commodities:

food, manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, fuels, raw materials

Imports – partners:

Dominican Republic 35%, US 26.8%, Netherlands Antilles 8.7%, China 7% (2013)

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