Amman, Jordan, September 15, 2013—The
World Bank Group signed today an agreement to help increase lending to
smaller enterprises in Jordan, part of an ongoing effort to spur economic
growth in the kingdom and the region at large.
The two key agencies of the World Bank Group - the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Finance Corporation
(IFC) - will support the Jordan Loan Guarantee Corporation (JLGC) as it
scales up its lending operations. The JLGC guarantees loans between borrowers
and banks, and many of its customers are micro, small, and medium enterprises
that have struggled to obtain financing. The World Bank Group will help
JLGC build its institutional capacity, increase its outreach, and develop
new financial products tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs and small
“This partnership will enable JLGC to enhance its loan guarantee program
to help more creditworthy firms get the financing they need to grow their
business and contribute to the economic welfare of our country,” said
Mohammed Al Ja'fari, Director General of JLGC.
“Small and medium enterprises are an important vehicle for job creation
and growth. Properly nurtured, SMEs can effectively contribute to the reinvigoration
of the economic cycle in the Kingdom,” Ferid Belhaj, Director of the World
Bank Middle East Department, remarked on the agreement.
Belhaj noted that the agreement was part of a Bank-wide effort to streamline
programs and products of its agencies to better serve the World Bank Group’s
drive for shared prosperity to reduce poverty.
Although smaller businesses form the backbone of most economies in the
region, they often have trouble securing loans and other forms of financing.
In the Middle East and North Africa, about a third of these firms
report difficulty in getting finance, and in Jordan they only receive 10
percent of all loans, half the average other middle-income countries.
“A lack of access to finance remains a strong barrier to economic growth
and job creation in the region,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC’s Principal Country
Officer in Jordan. “Enabling financial institutions to support smaller
businesses will accelerate growth, alleviate poverty, and foster a dynamic
and sustainable economy.”
The initiative is part of a wider World Bank Group effort to support micro,
small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the Middle East and North
Africa. That included the May launch of the $400 million MSME Facility,
which will channel financing and guidance to these businesses.
It is also part of IFC’s strategy in Jordan to encourage private sector
development by improving the performance of the financial sector, supporting
smaller businesses, and promoting private sector engagement in infrastructure
The agreement between the World Bank Group and JLGC was signed at the Central
Bank of Jordan and was attended by a number of high-profile members of
the banking sector, including CBJ Governor Ziad Fareez. IFC will provide
US$370,000 to support the project and IBRD will contribute US$200,000.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and
knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together
form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral
Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement
of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role
in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people
in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org,