Jordan has experienced rapid development and social change over the previous three decades, and continues to work towards a greater social, political and economic transformation. For over a decade, Global Communities has been helping Jordanians tackle their most pressing issues, including access to credit, economic development, civil society and child labor.
The USAID Community Engagement Project (USAID CEP) is working in collaboration with Jordanian partners, Al Jidara and Jordan River Foundation, to strengthen community organizations and local government efforts to meet local needs in three governorates: Irbid, Mafraq and Tafileh. The program works by bringing together community members, non-governmental and community-based organizations, and local government to jointly identify and implement activities that improve quality of life within their communities. Through the formation of volunteer groups representing all areas of society (women, youth, government, business, tribal, and religious leaders), USAID CEP will help communities to identify their needs and create their own plans to address the development challenges before them, while providing funding and capacity building to these groups and local NGOs to realize their projects.
Expanding Access to Credit
Vitas Jordan has grown since 1998, when it started as a program of Global Communities and USAID, designed to bring microfinance to the residents of Southern Jordan. In response to the great demand that came out of these communities, the program transformed into a permanent institution, MEMCC (Middle East Micro Credit Company), which has served people in need across the entire country since 2003. Today, Vitas Jordan is Global Communities' most profitable development finance institution and it is one of the largest microfinance institutions in Jordan. Offering a diversified selection of loan products, Vitas Jordan reaches out to a broad clientele and serves the changing needs in the market.
With funding from USAID to support start-up and operational expenses over a five year period, the Jordan Loan Guaranty Facility (JLGF) is a $250 million, OPIC-backed facility designed to overcome obstacles to bank lending. By coupling loan guarantees with customized technical assistance for participating banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), the JLGF will also strengthen the capacity of the Jordanian financial services sector to continue serving the credit needs of the SME market in a sustainable manner.
Funded by the US Department of Labor, the goal of CECLE was to remove children from the worst forms of child labor and prevent additional children from entering into such dangerous activities, while providing them with direct educational services and other non-formal education. Through CECLE, Global Communities also strengthened policies on child labor and education and built the capacity of national institutions, raised awareness on the importance of education and supported research on child labor.
Aqaba Community and Economic Development (ACED) Program
The Aqaba region of Jordan has undergone tremendous economic growth, as a result ACED helps community-based organizations build their capacities to take advantage of these new economic opportunities and to be full participants in the development of the region. Through the program, Global Communities built the capacity of all facets of civil society by encouraging the local community to participate in development decision-making; enhancing the capacity of local civil society organizations to provide relevant services; encouraging local citizens to participate in the modern economy; and creating opportunities for interaction between citizens and private sector. To read more about the ACED program and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, visit www.aced-jordan.com