Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Today Citi announced it will partner with the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), a non-profit social investment fund, to launch a professional training program for employees of apparel company CODEVI. This investment will help create 1,400 new full time jobs for Haitians over the next 12 months. The $250,000 Citi grant was announced in Port-Au-Prince today by Eugene M. McQuade, CEO Citibank, N.A.
Enabling local companies to create jobs, particularly in Haiti’s economically critical apparel industry, is essential for the country’s long-term recovery. Since the earthquake in January, many Haitians have been migrating from Port-au-Prince to Ouanaminthe, located in the northern part of the country, in search of work at CODEVI. As production expands and employee numbers increase, training will become an important element of success. This grant will provide training to factory line workers and middle management to help strengthen CODEVI’s professional workforce.
Citi CEO Vikram Pandit said, “Citi has shown great commitment to the rebuilding efforts in Haiti by combining our business and philanthropic efforts to help develop a functioning economic system. We are pleased to partner with SEDF to bring much needed technical assistance to help foster job creation.”
Today’s announcement is part of Citi’s $2 million pledge in charitable contributions to the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti. Citi has played a continuous role in the country’s rebuilding efforts including immediate emergency relief, fundraising campaigns and, from a business perspective, in March Citi hosted a leadership roundtable in Miami bringing together government officials, public sector leaders and industry experts to discuss ways to modernize and improve the functioning of Haiti’s financial system.
In May, Citi announced a $1 million charitable contribution to three local microfinance institutions, Fonkoze, FINCA Haiti and SOGESOL, to help restore the country’s microfinance industry and drive job creation. Citi has been a part of the fabric of the community in Haiti since 1971.
Mr. McQuade said, “Job creation is essential if Haiti is to recover from the earthquake that devastated the country early this year. This grant will stimulate job creation and economic growth particularly in the Ouanaminthe region and help in the revival of an industry that has been identified as critical to Haiti’s future.”
Fernando Capellan, CEO of CODEVI, said, “We are facing challenging times in Haiti, so we applaud this partnership between Citi and SEDF, which will help CODEVI create much-needed employment in this region. Partnerships like this will help lay the foundation to economic recovery.”
Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.
Soros Economic and Development Fund
SEDF’s mission is to help stabilize post conflict and other fragile states by alleviating poverty and community deterioration through investment in local initiatives for economic development. SEDF works for social inclusion and the broadening of access to markets, financial services and other products for underserved individuals, as well as for SMEs in low-income or distressed areas across the globe. SEDF is a not-for-profit, private foundation and is part of the network of charitable foundations created by investor and philanthropist George Soros. As a social investment fund, SEDF invests in companies and financial institutions which share our objectives, including commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, finance and insurance companies and equity funds. We also invest directly in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which have the potential to create jobs, alleviate poverty or improve the environment in which poor communities live. SEDF makes use of a variety of investment methodologies, which may be deployed singly or in combination, including direct equity investments, debt financing and credit guarantees.
Founded by Grupo M, currently harboring over 4,500 Haitian employees, CODEVI is considered one the largest private employers in Haiti contributing to the social stability of the region, planning to have 15,000 jobs in the next 5 years and in doing so, simultaneously create 5,000 jobs in the Dominican Republic. This, due basically to the implementation of the HELP II Act and the Co-Production model with the Dominican Republic. CODEVI is an environmentally friendly compound and provides all the required services that make it a world class operation. Aware of its Social and Economic impact and responsibility in the town of Ounaminthe, there are an array of employee programs, all aimed at improving the quality of life, that benefit them and their families as well as the community. Highlights of these programs are: Training facility, continuing education courses, Radio and TV Station, On-Site Medical facilities, Recreational and Sports activities, etc. CODEVI is committed to the future of the industry and will continue to partner and contribute to the growth of the Haitian economy.