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Washington, DC.—Global Communities and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today announced that OPIC has agreed to provide a $25 million, 15-year loan guaranty facility to Global Communities’ subsidiary Vitas s.a.l., to support expanded lending to underserved entrepreneurs in Lebanon.
The new agreement is similar to a facility between Global Communities and OPIC that ran from 2007-2013, in which OPIC provided a guaranty to four partner banks in Lebanon, to encourage lending during a period of economic instability following the war in 2006. Under the new facility, OPIC will cover loans made directly by Vitas s.a.l (formerly Ameen s.a.l.), allowing them to serve a growing number of clients across the country.
Vitas s.a.l. was founded by Global Communities in 1999 as a micro-credit program and is now a leading microfinance institution in Lebanon. Vitas became a shareholding company in 2003, and in 2007 registered with the Central Bank of Lebanon to become the first Lebanese financial institution specialized in microfinance. In 2012, the company’s entry to Vitas Group and resulting investment capital enabled it to expand direct lending capacities, thereby drastically increasing their ability to bring commercial capital to low-income communities who are underserved by traditional financial markets. For more information visit www.vitaslebanon.com or www.vitasgroup.com.
“Global Communities is thrilled to partner once again with OPIC, enabling us to continue our strong commitment to extending credit to vulnerable households and small businesses in Lebanon,” says Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, Vice President of Development Finance for Global Communities, which has been working in the Middle East since 1994.
“Entrepreneurs and small businesses play a critical role in economic growth and job creation, but often struggle to obtain financing,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “This partnership is a highly effective way to support lending to those entrepreneurs that most need support and it represents an excellent example of OPIC’s ongoing partnership with Global Communities.”
ABOUT GLOBAL COMMUNITIES (FORMERLY CHF INTERNATIONAL)
Global Communities is an international non-profit organization founded in 1952 that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities believes that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself. Learn more at www.globalcommunities.org
OPIC, the U.S. government’s development finance institution, mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and in doing so, advance U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, guarantees, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds. Established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 150 countries worldwide. To date, OPIC has supported more than $200 billion of investment in over 4,000 projects, generated an estimated $75 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 277,000 American jobs. For more information visit www.opic.gov.