While travelling in Benin and Haiti, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, recently visited the projects that DID is carrying out with financial assistance from the Government of Canada in these countries.
During her trip to Benin, the Minister visited a local marketplace where women, under the recently launched ADAPAMI project, obtained access to financing tailored to their needs in order to start up their own businesses and, as a result, help their families and communities become more prosperous. When completed, this project will enable 500,000 additional beneficiaries, 67 percent of whom will be women, gain access to top-quality, secure financial services.
In Haiti, the Minister met with beneficiaries of the SYFAAH project for agricultural financing and insurance systems that DID is carrying out through a consortium with Financière agricole du Québec - Développement international and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). Launched in 2011 with the aim of strengthening the agricultural financial sector in Haiti, this initiative has been posting impressive results:
- from project startup, the financial institutions affiliated with SYFAAH have issued nearly 60,000 loans to agri-entrepreneurs, who often did not have bank accounts (and 30 percent of whom are women), for a total amount of CAN $66 million,
- the number of active loans (nearly 16,000) is constantly growing,
- the project has trained over one hundred agricultural loan officers who are working in sixty service outlets all throughout the country.
Minister Bibeau also met with a group of women agri-entrepreneurs who shared the positive impact that SYFAAH is making on their financial empowerment. During the year 2017 alone, more than 3000 women agri-entrepreneurs received training through the project on leadership, financial literacy and financing commercial activities.
Alongside the Canadian Government, the Swiss Confederation and the French Development Agency are also contributing to financing the SYFAAH project.