Empowering Refugees in Lebanon with Al Majmoua

Olivia Hayden Foundation News, Travel

We’re proud to announce that this June, Whole Planet Foundation authorized funds to be distributed through microfinance institution Al Majmoua in Lebanon. Today we disbursed the first tranche of funding to this new partner.

The proposed $500,000 from Whole Planet Foundation will support new microcredit loans to over 900 entry-level women entrepreneurs through the Al Majmoua’s Group Loan product- many of which will be part of Al-Majmoua’s innovative approach to providing access to credit to women from Syria who have fled the war. The typical first group loan will be for $550 each person or $2,233 for the whole group of borrowers, on average.

The need for microfinance in Lebanon is pressing. In a country of about 5 million people, Lebanon is currently hosting over a million refugees from Syria and about a half a million Palestinian refugees.

Al Majmoua (which is the Arabic term for “the group”) was initially created in 1994 as a microfinance program by Save the Children to provide group loans to low-income women entrepreneurs. In 1997, it spun off into a fully autonomous NGO, registered as an association with the Lebanese Ministry of Interior.

Currently, Al Majmoua offers group and individual loans, and free non-financial services to over 55,000 borrowers through its network of 22 branches all over Lebanon.

Whole Planet Foundation looks forward to working with a strong partner in the Middle East in order to give opportunity to Lebanese citizens and refugees living in Lebanon.

To learn more, watch our most recent Dispatch From the Field featuring Brian, Whole Planet Foundation Regional Director for Africa and the Middle East.