World Bank, IFC to Assist Jordan SMEs

Microfinance Focus Europe, 16 September 2013: The World Bank signed an agreement that will aim to increase SME loans within Jordan. The project is a cooperation between the World Bank group and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Both organizations will assist the Jordan Loan Corporation Guarantee (JLCG) to increase its lending efficiency and operations within the region.

Currently, small and medium-sized enterprises in Jordan only receive 10 percent of all loans, making the economic climate difficult. About a third of SMEs in Jordan have reported that it is difficult to receive financing.

"A lack of access to finance remains a strong barrier to economic growth and job creation in the region,” said Ahmed Attiga, IFC's Principal Country Officer in Jordan. "Enabling financial institutions to support smaller businesses will accelerate growth, alleviate poverty, and foster a dynamic and sustainable economy.”

The World Bank has outlined plans to increase the lending capacity of the JLCG as well as boosting outreach and creating new products better tailored to the customers' needs. This particular project in Jordan is consistent with the World Bank's continued efforts to assist micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the Middle East.

In addition to infrastructure support for the JLCG, both the World Bank and IFC have contributed $270,000 and $200,000 respectively.

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