Desjardins Group to Take an Active Role in the Reconstruction of the Economic
System in Haiti

Développement international Desjardins will increase its support to the Le Levier federation to help relaunch its network of financial cooperatives

LÉVIS, QC, Feb. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Drawing inspiration from its values of solidarity and mutual assistance, Desjardins Group wishes to contribute in tangible terms to the relaunch of the economic system in Haiti and has announced that it will lend extra support to the Le Levier federation of Haitian financial cooperatives.

"Le Levier financial cooperatives play a key role in Haitian communities, and thanks to the expertise of Développement international Desjardins, we'll be able to help them not only to rebuild their infrastructure but also to actively breathe new life into local economic activity," stated the Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, Monique F. Leroux.

Through Développement international Desjardins (DID), which has been in Haiti for the past 15 years, Desjardins will offer its support to these Haitian financial cooperatives.

Support to be provided by DID to the Le Levier federation will take several forms, such as reconstruction of the Haitian cooperatives' infrastructures, reconstitution of data bases and relaunching of computer systems. Other examples of support include determining the status of portfolios and implementing a strategy for contacting members, helping community-based mutual aid groups and also assisting the cooperatives to help restart economic activities in the areas of retail business, hardware, general mechanics, building tradespersons, and sale of foodstuffs.

In addition to financial support, Desjardins will offer specialized staff to help at the Le Levier federation. Desjardins is also encouraging its 42,000 employees, its 6,300 elected officers, its retirees, as well as its caisses and various components to show their solidarity through an institutional fundraising drive to help DID complete this project.

The Le Levier federation

The Le Levier federation comprises 50 cooperatives and 23 points of service that, throughout the entire country, supply savings and credit services to their 340,000 members and clients, representing 20% of the Haitian population. After the earthquake, four deaths have been counted from among the federation employees and two from among the officers. The Le Levier federation is now estimating the scope of the damage brought about by the earthquake on the infrastructures of the cooperatives, six of which were destroyed and a half-dozen damaged, and on the ability of its staff to gradually return to their usual activities. The federation is currently planning its intervention priorities in providing support to its cooperative network.

About Développement international Desjardins

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 100 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.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada, and the sixth largest in the world, with overall assets of $163 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, as well as its subsidiaries, several of which are active throughout Canada, Desjardins offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million individual and business members and clients. Desjardins Group is also home to a wealth of expertise in property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, wealth management, services for businesses of all sizes, securities brokerage, venture capital, asset management and secure leading-edge virtual access methods, all part of an integrated offer that is the only one of its kind in Canada. One of the largest employers in the country, Desjardins is backed by the knowledge and skills of its 42,000 employees and the commitment of its 6,300 elected officers. To find out more, consult

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,

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