Amman, May 24, 2007 -- IFC, the private
sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced it will make its first
partial credit guarantee in Jordan and its second in the Middle East and
North Africa. IFC will provide a 30 percent partial credit guarantee on
a loan of 2 million Jordanian dinars from Société Générale de Banques Jordanie
to the Microfund for Women, a leading microfinance institution in Jordan.
The partial credit guarantee will allow
the Microfund for Women to access three times as much local currency funding
for up to five years. This guarantee will reduce the Microfund’s
foreign currency exposure risk and encourage banks to share risks with
credible microfinance institutions.
IFC Advisory Services in the region—PEP-MENA—is
also providing a comprehensive advisory package that will support the Microfund’s
operations and risk management as well as introduce a new product. In addition,
IFC’s gender team will assess the needs of the Microfund’s clients and
recommend new financial products and services to serve them better. This
investment will set another benchmark in IFC’s program to support the
country’s financial sector.
“IFC is delighted to develop the financial
sector further in Jordan by introducing the first partial credit guarantee
loan, which allows microfinance institutions, such as the Microfund for
Women, to access long-term local currency funding and expand client outreach
and products,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Director for Global Financial Markets.
By serving the financing needs of microentrepreneurs,
the Microfund for Women targets an underserved market that will stimulate
growth and generate employment as well as support the private sector. Our
advisory services will further enhance its operations and introduce new
products on the Jordanian market. This investment is expected to have a
demonstration effect, encouraging other lenders in Jordan to provide access
to finance and support for microfinance enterprises.
Arije Al-Amad, General Manager of the
Microfund for Women, stated that, “We are extremely pleased to be a partner
with IFC in launching the first partial credit guarantee loan in Jordan.
This investment comes at a timely juncture to help us scale up operations
and provide additional support to women entrepreneurs in Jordan. IFC’s
investment and advisory services will strengthen our sustainable development
The Microfund for Women is a private
Jordanian not-for-profit company that started as a pilot program by Save
the Children in 1994. It has since expanded to become the leading
women’s microfinance service provider in Jordan, with its overarching
goal the empowerment of female entrepreneurs throughout the country. The
Microfund for Women is headquartered in Amman with nine branches in central
and northern Jordan. It expects to reach over 40,000 borrowers in
the next five years.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About IFC PEP-MENA
IFC PEP-MENA is a multidonor facility
for advisory services that support private sector development across the
Middle East and North Africa. IFC PEP-MENA focuses on improving the business
enabling environment, strengthening financial markets, supporting SME development,
and promoting privatization and public-private partnerships. From its inception
through FY06, IFC PEP-MENA has committed more than $20 million in advisory
services projects. Its activities are funded jointly by IFC and the following
donors: Canada, France, the Islamic Development Bank, Japan, Kuwait, the
Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.