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IFC Facilitates Access to Microcredits for Women in Jordan


In Amman:
Ahmed Ali Attiga
Phone: + (962) 6-568-5060
Email: aattigal@ifc.org

In Dubai:
Annie Parseghian
Phone: + (971) 4-360-1000
Email: aparseghian@ifc.org

In Cairo:
Egidio Germanetti & Riham Mustafa
Phone: 0020 (2) 461 9150, ext. 314/306
Email: egermanetti@ifc.org/rmustafa@ifc.org


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 and growth.”

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.

About IFC
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.