Africa and the Middle East
Africa and the Middle East
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Financing for Small Businesses and Women Entrepreneurs
Financing for Small Businesses and Women Entrepreneurs
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Portfolio for Impact and Innovation
Portfolio for Impact and Innovation
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2X Women's Initiative
2X Women's Initiative
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Challenge

Lebanon and Jordan are home to more than 1.5 million refugees, the vast majority of whom live in poverty, often with inadequate housing and access to basic health services. Women refugees are often particularly challenged to access paid work to support their households and communities.

Solution and Impact

A DFC loan to the Near East Foundation (NEF) UK is supporting the creation of a Development Impact Bond (DIB), an innovative form of financing which is repaid by donors seeking specific measurable social impacts. The DIB—DFC’s first development impact bond focused on refugees—will finance a training and grant program to help refugees and vulnerable Jordanians, primarily women and youth, launch microenterprises as a sustainable source of household income.

DFC’s support will also help establish community-based information and support hubs tailored to developing financial literacy, savings habits, and other skills necessary to launch and manage refugees’ income-generating activities.

Through the development impact bond, the Near East Foundation UK aims to help refugees with limited resources acquire the necessary skills and support to become more financially secure. As they lift themselves out of poverty, the program’s beneficiaries will be able to positively contribute to the fabric of their communities as well as lessen the pressure on their host countries’ job markets, infrastructure, and educational systems.

DFC’s loan to the Near East Foundation UK will be made through the agency’s Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI2) Initiative, which aims to invest in high-impact, early-stage projects across the developing world. As 75% percent of NEF’s grants, business trainings, and support services are expected to benefit women, the project also advances DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative to foster women’s economic empowerment.