IFC Signs Deal to Support Refugees, Micro Businesses in Lebanon

Oct 2019
Lebanon, October, 01 2019 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, signed a cooperation agreement today with Lebanon’s largest microfinance institution, Al Majmoua. The project is designed to help Al Majmoua continue to grow sustainably while providing crucial financial services to people across Lebanon.

The partnership will see IFC advise Al Majmoua as it transforms from a non-profit organization into a non-bank financial institution. This transformation is expected to help Al Majmoua ramp up its lending to small businesses, including those run by marginalized segments and members of host communities. The project is considered key in Lebanon, where micro enterprises often struggle to get loans and other forms of financing, limiting their ability to grow.

“This partnership with IFC will help us ttransform successfully to a regulated non-bank financial institution while retaining our market leadership position and continuing to grow in a sustainable manner,” said Youssef Fawaz, executive director of Al Majmoua. “It will also allow us to reach out to a growing number of businesses, helping them to expand and create the jobs Lebanon so urgently needs"

Lebanon, which is home to 1.5 million refugees, saw real GDP expand by just 0.2 percent in 2018 and the country is in dire need of jobs and economic growth.

“Microfinance can transform the lives of people, especially in countries like Lebanon. We’ve seen it time and time again,” said Saad Sabrah, IFC Country Head in Lebanon. “Supporting institutions like Al Majmoua is key to creating economic opportunities for both locals and refugees.”

The deal is the latest in a long-term partnership between IFC and Al Majmoua. Since January 2017, IFC has provided a combination of investment and advisory services that have helped Al Majmoua develop new financial products to support host communities and create employment opportunities for refugees.

The project is part of IFC’s wider strategy to support fragile and conflict-affected states and help expand financial inclusion across Lebanon and the wider Middle East and North Africa.

Source : WebWire

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