Press Releases

IFC Partners with First Education Holding to Expand Education in the Middle East

In Washington:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: +1 (202) 473 7700

In Dubai:
Louay Khatib, EdCap
Phone: +971 4 364 4820

In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa, IFC
Phone: 0020 2 461 9150

Washington, D.C./Dubai, U.A.E., June 25, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will promote the development of primary and secondary education in the Middle East and North Africa through a $14 million investment in First Education Holding. IFC’s financing will support the acquisition of two established K-12 schools in Amman, Jordan that provide education services to a significant number of students.

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 for women in the region.

Louay Khatib, Managing Director of First Education Holding, said, “We believe that high-quality, affordable, internationally recognized private education at both the primary and secondary levels has become a key focus in the Middle East and North Africa. First Education Holding will undertake projects that enhance existing provision by delivering school improvement initiatives.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said, “The project is in line with IFC’s education strategy to support providers that can help increase access to services in underserved areas, move down-market to reach lower-income households, and provide local employment opportunities for skilled professionals.”

Michael Essex, IFC Director for Middle East and North Africa, said, “We are pleased to work with a partner who is committed to the promotion and expansion of high-quality education in the region. This investment gives us the opportunity to expand our support for the region’s education sector.”

About IFC
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

First Education Holding
Established in 2007, First Education Holding owns and manages a chain of nurseries in Egypt (the Baby Academy) with 628 students and two private schools in the United Arab Emirates catering to 2,858 students and employing 655 staff.  FEH’s vision is to become a leading high-quality education company that caters to the education needs of middle- to low- income families in MENA. The company provides strategic management support to schools, thereby optimizing the growth and quality of its education businesses. For more information, visit