In his New Year’s message to the Diaspora, current Minister of Haitians Living Abroad, Robert Labrousse, declared that business will be the major focus of his remaining term for 2016.
Labrousse says he intends to “devote all my energy during the short time I still have to lead this ministry” to boosting Diaspora financial investment into Haiti. To channel these efforts, the upcoming Direct Investment Fund of the Diaspora (FIDD), says Labrousse, “should help us to create conditions for the diaspora to invest massively and confidently in the sustainable development of our common homeland.”
Though the foundation will not be officially launched during his term, Labrousse marks the organization as his major accomplishment, and “it is with pride that I can say this is our work.”
The Minister said the organization is being established in response to various calls from the Diaspora for more streamlined channels of investment into Haiti. “We visited our compatriots in the Diaspora, Miami, Atlanta, Savannah, Boston, Montreal, Paris… everywhere we heard the same requests, we felt the same hopes, we have seen the same disappointments,” says Labrousse. “When can we vote ? When you will facilitate us the task for we can invest and invest ourselves in Haiti?”
The Minister also cited successful Diaspora investment partnership from 2015, including the establishment of the first phase of public clinics in Fond Fred, in partnership with the New York-based Haitian Diaspora non-profit, the Gaskov Clergé Foundation (GCF). Minister Labrousse also referred to the many MoUs signed with numerous Diaspora non-profits, including business and medical associations.