Beirut, Lebanon, October 1, 2019—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, signed a cooperation agreement today
with Lebanon's largest microfinance institution, Al Majmoua. The project
is designed to help Al Majmoua continue to grow sustainably while providing
crucial financial services to people across Lebanon.
The partnership will see IFC advise Al Majmoua as it transforms from a
non-profit organization into a non-bank financial institution. This transformation
is expected to help Al Majmoua ramp up its lending to small businesses,
including those run by marginalized people and members of host communities.
The project is considered key in Lebanon, where micro enterprises often
struggle to get loans and other forms of financing, limiting their ability
“This partnership with IFC will help us transform successfully to a regulated
non-bank financial institution while retaining our market leadership position
and continuing to grow in a sustainable manner,” said Youssef Fawaz, executive
director of Al Majmoua. “It will also allow us to reach out to a growing
number of businesses, helping them to expand and create the jobs Lebanon
so urgently needs."
Lebanon, which is home to 1.5 million refugees, saw real GDP expand by
just 0.2 percent in 2018 and the country is in dire need of jobs and economic
"Microfinance can transform the lives of people, especially in countries
like Lebanon. We've seen it time and time again," said Saad Sabrah,
IFC Country Head in Lebanon. "Supporting institutions like Al Majmoua
is key to creating economic opportunities for both locals and refugees."
The deal is the latest in a long-term partnership between IFC and Al Majmoua.
Since January 2017, IFC has provided a combination of investment and advisory
services that have helped Al Majmoua develop new financial products to
support host communities and create employment opportunities for refugees.
The project is part of IFC’s wider strategy to support fragile and conflict-affected
states and help expand financial inclusion across Lebanon and the wider
Middle East and North Africa.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than
$19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.