MSF will expand Care Center for Severe Burns using the services of Veerhouse Voda

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will expand its Care Center for Severe Burns (located in Drouillard, Port-au-Prince). This expansion will include 4 new buildings with an area of 1,621 m2. The plan will include an ambulatory service, isolation rooms, an intensive care unit and complete hospital facilities, making it the first of its kind in Haiti. Remember that the MSF Care Center for Severe Burns treats a large number of severe burns resulting from exposure to flames, burning liquids, handling of obsolete gas cylinders or electric shocks, which are part of everyday life in Haiti.

For the second time, MSF will appeal to Veerhouse Voda Haiti, a company that designs disaster-resistant housing, emergency structures and community spaces. The work is expected to be completed in 275 days as Veerhouse Voda's exclusive methods allow construction to be completed five times faster than traditional methods. Thanks to the use of the EPS foam manufactured by the local factory, the structure will be built at a lower cost and in accordance with Eurocodes standards.

"We are pleased to help MSF improve its Care Center for Severe Burns [...] This facility will be built with faster technology than traditional structures and will have the added benefit of reducing energy consumption," said Brendon Brewster of Veerhouse Voda.

Learn more about Veerhouse Voda :
Founded in 2012, Veerhouse Voda Haiti is located in Port-au-Prince, and also has offices in New York and the Netherlands. The company specializes in the design and construction of economic and disaster-resistant buildings and residences. The company offers a versatile alternative method using less materials, preferring expanded polystyrene, consuming less energy and offering shorter construction times than traditional methods. This construction system is used in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas to build schools, individual dwellings, offices, hospitals, commercial buildings, etc...

Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World

PADF was pleased to participate in a hearing organized by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs called “Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World.” The issue around equitable access to financial services are an integral component of the LEAD project. Via LEAD we support 20 out of 45 women-owned or operated enterprises. So we were curious to learn about the current trends and thought leadership on this topic. 

On July 13th, 2017, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing entitled “Beyond Microfinance: Empowering Women in the Developing World” during which a panel of experts in the field of financial inclusion advocated for the economic empowerment of women worldwide. The witnesses called to testify before the Committee brought to the panel extensive professional experience in gender issues and development: Ms. Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking; Dr. Tavneet Suri, Professor of Economics at MIT; and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security. Each spoke to their specific area of expertise, but all three emphasized the drawbacks and limitations of microfinance—a financial mechanism once hailed as the silver bullet of development. The three panelists highlighted the findings of seven separate studies each demonstrating that indebting the world’s poorest does not, in fact, lead to long-term, sustainable economic prosperity. Like anyone else, the recipients of microfinance loans have complex financial needs that necessitate multiple financial instruments for savings, insurance, and credit, among other things.

Repeatedly mentioned as an alternative to microfinance was mobile money, a strategy that has begun revolutionizing the landscape of financial transactions across the developed and developing worlds alike. Programs that can send funds directly through a text message (like PayPal, but for basic, non-smartphones) create greater financial security through interactions within one’s own social network. For example, the mother of a child who has fallen ill can request money from relatives virtually, rather than cut back on basic necessities or pull her other children out of school to help work to fund the medical care. This method, unlike microfinance, is especially empowering and financially stabilizing for women. Though mobile money as a development strategy is a promising prospect, more research and evaluation is needed to fully understand its implications and effectiveness.

Apart from the technical financial mechanisms discussed, the witnesses underscored the importance and value of incorporating women into the financial world. Women prioritize the family in financial spending: they spend 34% more than men on education, health, and other needs that improve the wellbeing of their children and their household. As such, solidifying a stable financial foundation for women can catalyze positive development across the spectrum, fostering greater stability within families and communities which, in turn, produces more peaceful and prosperous societies.

Press Release | LEAD Expo & Awards Ceremony

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) celebrated the success of dozens Haitian entrepreneurs supported by the LEAD program at a large exposition at the Karibe Hotel on June 8, 2017.  Through the LEAD program (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments), USAID has provided 45 Haitian and diaspora-led entrepreneurs with the capital and technical support needed to grow their business. Implemented by the PADF, the program supports long-term economic growth in the region.

Each company was awarded a grant after successfully completing a business plan competition. Together, these enterprises have created more than 13,600 jobs in Haiti and are on track to create a total of 18,000 jobs by the end of the year.

“We congratulate the entrepreneurs here today,” said Brian Shukan, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. “You are the leaders of Haiti’s new economy. The LEAD project’s investment in these innovative entrepreneurs has unlocked millions in private capital. As their businesses grow, we anticipate that they will continue to attract financing from banks and equity investors, driving further economic development.”

Since 2011, USAID has invested $7.4 million in businesses in various sectors of the Haitian economy, unlocking $12.7 million in private capital. LEAD has also delivered more than 10,000 hours of training to entrepreneurs to build their capacity and improve business operations. Together, LEAD supported businesses— from the sanitary paper production plant to the solid waste processing plant, have generated nearly $ 28 million in sales.

“It’s inspiring to be in a room with so many dynamic and creative Haitian entrepreneurs,” says Nadia Cherrouk, PADF country director. “Their businesses are a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and persistence. Through LEAD, we are helping Haitians realize their business goals and creating a network of innovators. These entrepreneurs are paving the way to a more prosperous Haiti.”

The event included a business-to-business networking session to help the entrepreneurs forge important relationships with financial institutions, service providers and sector experts. 

About LEAD

USAID’s Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments (LEAD) project aims to attract investments in Haitian SMEs and increase the development impact of remittances. LEAD operates in the following three development corridors: Cap-Haïtien, Saint-Marc, and Port-au-Prince. The project is implemented by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF). Since 2011, LEAD has awarded grants ranging from USD$50,000 to $200,000 to 45 small- and medium-sized Haitian enterprises, allowing them to expand their operations and increase employment. 


The American people, through USAID, have been working around the world for over fifty years in humanitarian assistance and economic growth. For more information about USAID programs in Haiti, visit our website: 

About PADF

PADF is a nonprofit organization that brings together many stakeholders to improve livelihoods, empower communities, strengthen civil society, support human rights, protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean.




Le Nouvelliste | LEAD pour l’ouverture des entreprises haïtiennes à d’autres sources de financement

Début juin, le programme « Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments» (LEAD), financé par l'Agence internationale américaine de développement (USAID) et implémenté par la Fondation panaméricaine de développement (PADF), a organisé au Kinam hôtel un séminaire intitulé « Placements en entreprise / Comment vendre et/ou acheter des actions» pour le compte des entreprises faisant partie de son portfolio.

Animé par le professeur Édouard Clément, analyste financier, consultant international en financement et investissement, ce séminaire avait pour vocation de permettra aux participants de mieux comprendre comment déterminer les parts dans une société, et également de les informer des implications juridiques, financières et fiscales des placements en entreprise. « L’idée est de montrer à ces entreprises qu’il y a d’autres opportunités de financement, d’autres options pour leur croissance […] Une entreprise peut ouvrir ses portes pour vendre des actions, par exemple », a fait savoir Nadia Cherrouk, directrice de la PADF, qui espère, dit-elle, ouvrir de nouveaux chantiers pour les entrepreneurs haïtiens. À côté du financement traditionnel, en général les épargnes des familles, et l’accès à des prêts, le programme LEAD, via ce séminaire animé par un expert haïtien qui connaît très bien le secteur, entend prouver aux participants, une trentaine, qu’il est possible de démarrer une petite entreprise et de l’agrandir en vendant des actions. « À ce moment-là, on passe à une transparence des livres, des comptes et il y a un engagement direct de tous les investisseurs », a fait remarquer Mme Cherrouk. « Les gens sont très souvent réticents à ouvrir l’actionnariat pour aller chercher d’autres capitaux qui sont détenus par des étrangers. À partir de ce moment, il y a une certaine concentration du capital dans une même famille. Ce qui nécessairement n’est pas une bonne chose, car, dans le cadre d’une concentration du capital dans une même famille, lorsqu’il y a faillite, c’est toute la famille qui plonge », a expliqué M. Clément, déplorant l’inexistence de marché secondaire dans le système financier haïtien. « Il y a un marché primaire où les actions se transigent entre anciens actionnaires et les nouveaux actionnaires de l’entreprise […] Les anciens actionnaires ont un droit préférentiel et l’exercent pour acheter les nouvelles actions qui sont émises. Ce qui fait que ces actions ne sont pas vendues dans le public qui n’est pas même au courant de cette nouvelle émission », a précisé Édouard Clément soulignant que le marché primaire concerne ce qui se fait à l’intérieur alors que le marché secondaire concerne le public. « Nous avons un problème d’information, a poursuivi M. Clément. La plupart des participants n’étaient pas au courant qu’il existe une infinité de solutions pour capter des capitaux. » D’où la pertinence de ce séminaire qui, tout en faisant bénéficier les entreprises ayant travaillé avec LEAD, tente d’ouvrir le mécanisme des actions à tous les types d’entreprises (services, commerce et autres). En d’autres termes, il s’agit pour les responsables de LEAD de mettre en ligne les entreprises haïtiennes avec les standards internationaux et d’ouvrir de nouveaux chantiers pour qu’ils puissent devenir plus compétitifs sur le marché international. « Dans le portfolio de LEAD, il y a une représentation [d’entreprises] de plusieurs secteurs. [Toutefois], il faut que ces entreprises puissent créer des jobs et contribuer à l’agrandissement de l’économie nationale », a indiqué Nadia Cherrouk, rappelant que les entreprises de commerce ne remplissent pas les critères de ce programme en passe d’être bouclé à la fin du mois de septembre de cette année. « Nous espérons qu’il y aura d’autres programmes de ce genre qui pourront être élaborés à partir de l’expérience LEAD […] Les besoins pour le secteur des PME en Haïti sont très vastes. Beaucoup reste à faire. Ce que nous avons réussi à faire, c’est d'offrir un modèle », a déclaré Nadia Cherrouk. « Grâce à une certaine assistance technique qui est donnée aux entreprises et avec un accompagnement, il est fortement possible d’avoir des entreprises qui existent et qui contribuent positivement à l’économie nationale en créant des jobs, en remettant la mise dans l’import-export, en produisant localement, en innovant aussi », a soutenu la responsable de la PADF.

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