With funding from UNHCR, Global Communities is assisting Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled across the border into Lebanon, overwhelming communities there and straining local resources. The emergency program focuses on rehabilitating and weather-proofing the homes of Lebanese families hosting Syrian refugees.
Vitas Lebanon, (formerly Ameen s.a.l.), has been a major player in the Lebanese Microfinance sector since 1999. Vitas Lebanon has served some of Lebanon’s most vulnerable populations through war, political upheaval, and economic crisis. First as a microcredit program created by Global Communities, then as a Lebanese services company, and since 2007 as the first Lebanese microfinance institution to be formally regulated by the Central Bank. This change in legal status has enabled Vitas Lebanon to provide loans directly to its clients using its own loan capital, in addition to the loans it already provides through its four partner banks. The company’s entry to the Vitas Group in 2012 enabled it to expand its direct lending capacities even further thereby drastically increasing their ability to bring commercial capital down to its low-income populations who are not served by traditional financial markets.
In 2013, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) agreed to provide a $25 million, 15-year Loan Guaranty Facility to Vitas Lebanon to support expanded lending to underserved entrepreneurs. The new agreement follows an earlier facility between Global Communities and OPIC that was established in 2007 to help banks resume lending following the war in 2006. Under the new facility, OPIC covers loans made directly by Vitas Lebanon allowing them to serve a growing number of clients across the country.
Through the MENA Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES), Global Communities, in partnership with the Caterpillar Foundation, implemented a three-year, $4.4 million program to target youth aged 15 to 29 in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen to prepare them for the labor market and job placement. Special emphasis was given to disadvantaged youth, low- to medium-level skilled individuals, women, peri-urban and rural youth, and individuals working in hazardous environments. The program provided technical, demand-driven training, assistance with internship and apprenticeship placement, as well as, support for entrepreneurship and self-employment activities and assistance accessing credit. Learn more, by reading the MENA-YES factsheet.