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IFC, FFA Private Bank to Support Infrastructure Development in Lebanon

06, Mar. 2019 News
Beirut, Lebanon, February 20, 2019 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a memorandum of understanding with FFA Private Bank (FFA), a leading private bank in the Middle East and North Africa, to help improve infrastructure services in Lebanon and the wider Levant region.

IFC will support FFA in setting up and operating a mezzanine infrastructure fund, currently stands at $100 million, that aims to narrow the gap in the financing of infrastructure projects in Lebanon. This will help improve access to basic infrastructure services like power, utilities and transportation. The fund also aims to finance infrastructure projects across the wider Levant region and Africa.

Jean Riachi, Chairman and CEO of FFA Private Bank, said “We are proud to have IFC’s support in this endeavor, which will be our contribution to the success of the Capital Investment Plan (CIP) adopted by the Lebanese Government and endorsed by the international community during the CEDRE conference.”

Lebanon is brimming with potential, but long-standing challenges like power shortages, soaring youth unemployment, and a lack of access to finance hold back its economic growth. Investing in infrastructure, a labor-intensive industry, can stimulate growth across a host of other industries like construction, logistics, manufacturing and trade and many others.

“Influx of refugees and years of wars took a toll on Lebanon’s infrastructure and strained public finances,” said Saad Sabrah, IFC Country Head for Lebanon. “Increasing private investments in infrastructure can unlock great economic potential, provide access to new markets and create jobs, not only in Lebanon but across the rest of the Levant region.”

Since 1971, IFC has invested more than $850 million to support private sector development in Lebanon. The efforts focused on supporting Lebanon’s financial market, expanding financial inclusion for small, medium and microbusinesses, extending trade financing and promoting sustainable energy and energy efficiency projects.