The USAID office in Haiti had seven guarantees worth US$37.5 million as of last year. The audit focused on the four largest, worth US$31.5 million, two of which were awarded after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

They were a Haitian bank named Sogebank, a Haitian development finance institution named Sofihdes that USAID helped create in 1983 and an agriculture-focused outfit named Le Levier Federation.

The audit found that few women and first-time borrowers received loans and lenders did not make much effort to work with them.

Loans were supposed to go to three “development corridors’’ instead they stayed in the Port-au-Prince area.

Ninety percent of Sogebank’s loans were confined to the capital and the bank did not give loans to other parts of the country. Some 81 percent of the Sofihdes loans were in Haiti’s capital.

Training could have been better, the audit also said.

The USAID office in Haiti failed to properly train workers who make the loan guarantee coverage decisions.

via – The Standard



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