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USD20 million from USAID in support of microfinance


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a project to support small and micro enterprises and improve the role of the Association for Microfinance Institutions in Lebanon (MFIs). In a statement released yesterday, the USAID emphasized that the five-year USD 20 million worth of Livelihoods Inclusive Finance Expansion (LIFE) program is expected to provide better economic opportunities to entrepreneurs and beneficiaries from finance services in poverty stricken areas in the country. The said project, the statement added, aims to improve livelihoods, consolidate the capacity of the microfinance sector and increase the prospects of inclusive finance for the advantage of the marginalized people, particularly unemployed or low-income women, youth, and people with special needs in the deprived rural areas. And in its support of livelihoods, the statement mentioned, the program assists entrepreneurs and owners of small enterprises to build their capacities and benefit from financial products and services to scale-up their businesses and set the grounds for sustainable livelihoods through provision of grants and essential training. Microfinance will strengthen the capacity of MFIs to increase their range of products and expand their reach to borrowers in order to include microenterprises, with focus on higher-risk and conflict affected areas, including low-income households with women breadwinners that do not have access to banking services, the statement added. Moreover, the program secures custom made training on entrepreneurship, in addition to technical know-how, mentoring, business development skills and a set of new lending products targeting current and potential clientele, USAID statement concluded. (Al Mustaqbal, March 17, 2017)


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