Haiti has been independent from France since 1804, and political instability has always been a constraint to its economy. As one of the poorest countries in the Americas, a majority of Haitians live on no more than 2 U.S. dollars a day. The country has an unemployment rate of more than 60 percent. Most Haitians work in the agriculture and commerce sectors, as the state employs less than 20 percent of Haiti’s active population. As a result, a large portion of this population is struggling to make a living from the informal sector of the economy. This sector, however, is facing an acute lack of cash in spite of its entrepreneurial spirit. Given the high rate of illiteracy in the country and a largely dysfunctional state bureaucratic structure, the informal sector cannot meet the banks’ legal paper requirements to have access to credit. Thus, getting credit is and has always been a key problem in Haiti.
Last updated: February 19, 2014