The Director General of the Le Levier federation in Haiti, pays tribute to
cooperation and Desjardins Group - Jocelyn St-Jean is in charge of the
largest community finance sector institution in Haiti

QUÉBEC, March 27 /CNW Telbec/ - As a distinguished guest of the Développement international Desjardins (DID) annual information session, held on March 27 in keeping with Desjardins Group's annual general meetings, Mr. Jocelyn St-Jean, director general of the Le Levier federation of Haitian financial cooperatives, took stock of the Haitian caisse network situation.

With 2,000 participants in attendance, Mr. St-Jean's message was both emotional yet realistic as to the scope of the reconstruction Haitians have currently undertaken.

The quake that rocked the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince not only destroyed or damaged several caisses, but also disrupted the organization of an entire network. "The caisses are at the heart of the reconstruction. The Port-au-Prince caisses are not the only ones having to deal with the consequences of the earthquake because all of the network's caisses must now find a way to serve an increasing amount of members and cope with new needs brought about by the migration of families", stated Mr. St-Jean.

The 50 Haitian caisses and their 23 points of service that make up Le Levier are located in each of the country's 10 departments. Together, these caisses offer financial products and services to 340 000 members and clients. The Le Levier federation, which received its legal accreditation in 2008, was set up with the technical support of DID's expert advisors, three of which were in Haiti at the time of the earthquake.

Today, DID has 15 years' experience in Haiti and is assisting in getting the Le Levier federation back in operation. With its three advisors permanently established in Haiti and several employees who are lending a hand in the work over the next few months, Desjardins Group is once again demonstrating the importance of cooperation. "After immediately contributing humanitarian aide after the catastrophe occurred, Desjardins is proud to now take part in the reconstruction efforts by supporting its partner, Le Levier", declared Anne Gaboury, President and CEO of Développement international Desjardins.

About DID

Développement international Desjardins (DID) is a component of Desjardins Group. For 40 years now it has supported the creation, development and strengthening of financial institutions in over twenty countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. Specialized in providing technical support and investment for the community finance sector, DID draws on the rich and diverse experience acquired through collaboration with numerous partners, and on the 110 years of experience of Desjardins Group, the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. DID works in partnership with the Canadian International Development Agency, the World Bank and other multilateral organizations.

For more information on DID activities in Haiti: http://www.did.qc.ca/en/projets/haiti/.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of $157 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,200 employees and the commitment of over 6,200 elected officers. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.

SOURCE Desjardins Group

For further information: For further information: (for journalists only): Caroline Phémius, Advisor, Media Relations, Desjardins Group, (514) 281-7000, 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7646, caroline.phemius@desjardins.com; On March 27: Press room at the Québec City Convention Centre, (418) 649-5233


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