Washington, D.C./Dubai, U.A.E., January
28, 2010—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will promote the development
of primary and secondary education in the Middle East and North Africa
with a further $8 million equity investment in First Education Holding,
a leading provider of affordable high-quality education that caters to
middle- and low-income families in the region.
IFC’s equity financing will support
the acquisition of two established K-12 schools in Amman, Jordan and supplement
IFC’s $14 million debt financing to the company announced in June 2009.
The project will increase access to
education, improve the quality of services and facilities, implement higher
standards, provide equal learning opportunities for children with special
learning needs, train management and teachers, and increase employment
Louay Khatib, Managing Director of First
Education Holding, said, “First Education Holding is proud to deliver
school improvement initiatives that enhance existing provision, especially
at a time when private education at both the primary and secondary levels
has become a key focus in the region.”
Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health
and Education, said, “The project will increase access to education services
in underserved areas, reach lower-income households, and provide local
employment opportunities for skilled professionals.”
Michael G. Essex, IFC Director for the
Middle East and North Africa, said, “This investment gives us the opportunity
to expand our support for the education sector and work with a partner
who is committed to expanding high-quality education in MENA.”
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently
seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity
for the poor in developing countries—including by making loans to help
meet educational demands.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation
services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15
billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries
during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
First Education Holding
Established in 2007, First Education
Holding owns and manages a chain of nurseries in Egypt (the Baby Academy)
with more than 650 students and two private schools in the United Arab
Emirates serving about 3,000 students and employing more than 700 staff.
The company provides strategic management support to schools, thereby
optimizing the growth and quality of its education businesses. For more
information, visit www.edcapholding.com.