Jordan: The EIB reinforces its partnership with Microfund for Women to improve women’s access to finance
14 November 2018
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Jordan’s leading Microfinance institution, Microfund for Women (MFW), have signed a USD 5 million-loan agreement to boost micro-enterprise’s access to finance, mainly female entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors and micro entrepreneurs groups including female Syrian refugees in urban and rural areas of Jordan. The EIB credit line will be part of supporting up to 146 thousand beneficiaries of which 96% will be dedicated for female borrowers.
The loan was signed under the Southern Neighbourhood Microfinance Facility (SNMF) - a EUR 71.3 million lending facility which supports investments in microfinance markets in Southern Neighbourhood countries. The facility blends EIB’s own resources with the European Commission resources under the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.
This is the second EIB loan to MFW. In 2014 the EIB provided an amount equal to EUR 2 million to the Jordanian institution. The loan has been contributing to support poverty reduction and social inclusion through the promotion of decent work conditions and access to essential services, including funding, for Jordanian citizens.
Commenting on the new loan, EIB’s Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said: “Giving women an opportunity to start up their micro-business is a crucial factor in supporting entrepreneurship. The USD 5 million loan for MFW confirms our commitment to support financial inclusion and entrepreneurship in Jordan.”
“The operations of MFW not only will improve Jordanian women’s access to finance and develop their micro-enterprises, but it will help also female Syrian refugees to achieve economic self-reliance.” added EIB’s Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle.“In the EIB we are proud that our finance in Jordan covers all sectors and reaches all beneficiaries to improve the overall economic resilience of Jordanian economy.”
The Managing Director of MFW, Muna Sukhtian, stated that: “proud to be the first MFI in Jordan to offer financial and non-financial services to Syrian refugees in Jordan and we value our second time partnership with EIB which will enhance our offering to both Jordanian women and Syrian refugees, and we look forward to continuous cooperative.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is one of the leading development finance players in the Mediterranean region. The Bank’s goal is to support economic and social development by improving people’s living conditions. The EIB aims to establish a tangible presence in the EU neighbourhood countries, focusing on the economic and social priorities of the beneficiary countries to which it not only contributes its financing capacity but also adds value in project implementation and modernisation of public policies through its technical and financial expertise and advisory services.
With EUR 76 billion of investments in 2017, the EIB is the largest multilateral public bank in the world and roughly 10% of its lending targets investments outside of the European Union.
The European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank and has supported development and economic activity in the Southern Neighbourhood region with loans and equity investment worth EUR 33 billion since its first operation in the region. In the Jordan, the EIB has provided a total of EUR 1.4 billion to projects, including in the energy, small business and transport sectors.
The EIB has provided €2.7 million ($3.3 million) to Microfund for Women to boost the financing of micro-enterprises in Jordan during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The new financing is expected to support around 9 100 new beneficiaries, more than 90% of whom will be women.
The EIB is supporting the Jordanian economy with a €70 million line of credit to Capital Bank of Jordan to be on-lent primarily to local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been severely affected by the economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.
A new initiative from the EIB to support regions outside of Europe that are significantly affected by the refugee crisis has been welcomed by EU heads of state and governments meeting in Brussels today. Responding to a request by the European Council in March, EIB President Hoyer laid out how the EU Bank could step up its support and address the pressing needs of the regions with action to support growth, jobs vital infrastructure and social cohesion.