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Financial Services > Examples of Our Work

Farmer-to-Farmer, Middle East and North Africa

To ensure that safer foods reach markets in the Middle East and North Africa regions, IESC is partnering with Land O’Lakes on the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program to enhance food safety and quality and increase access to rural finance in Egypt and Lebanon. The program aims to generate rapid, sustained, and broad-based economic growth in the agricultural sector by directly assisting more than 10,000 clients across the region. Specifically, F2F will work with clients to expand their capacity to grow products that will access key markets, both locally and abroad. IESC is leading the access-to-finance components of the program, fielding volunteer technical experts to help increase access to rural finance. We help to facilitate financing for farmers who need to upgrade their infrastructure to improve the quality of fresh and processed products. We also work with financial institutions so they can better serve farms and farmers.

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Lebanon Investment in Microfinance

Through the Lebanon Investment in Microfinance (LIM) Program, IESC helped to build the capacity of microfinance institutions and provide capital through grants to create jobs and promote economic growth throughout Lebanon. IESC provided sub-grants annually to MFIs to "on-lend" to microenterprises in different sectors. In addition, IESC contributed value-added technical assistance to the microfinance institution sub-grantees, as well as performing a financial sector assessment for financial institutions and their oversight bodies. The LIM Program awarded nearly $10 million in grants to Lebanese microfinance institutions, which in turn disbursed about $35 million across nearly 15,000 micro loans.

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Liberia Investing for Business Expansion

IESC is working to improve the lending environment in Liberia through the Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) program. This program works with financial institutions and borrowers to increase lending in eight sectors: agriculture, renewable energy, infrastructure, construction, general merchandise, transportation, hospitality, and health care. In particular, IBEX encourages lending in renewable energy and agribusiness sectors, with a specific focus on small and medium enterprises. Since the program began in 2012, IBEX has dramatically increased the number of local borrowers backed by the Development Credit Authority. IBEX program activities continued throughout the recent Ebola outbreak; in fact, IBEX has played a critical role in keeping Liberia's economy going during the crisis. Read more about IBEX here.

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Mali Finance for Food Security and Women Entrepreneurs

This program will create a more robust agricultural financial sector and to empower women business owners. The agricultural agenda focuses on five value chains: sorghum, millet, rice, livestock, and agroforestry. In addition to poor infrastructure and general economic uncertainty, women entrepreneurs, agribusinesses, and microfinance institutions in Mali face difficulty accessing credit from commercial banks for a host of reasons, including limited financial literacy, collateral, documented credit history and sector-specific understanding among financial institutions. By working closely with a variety of local and international partners, this program is providing the necessary technical assistance to agribusinesses, women-led enterprises, and financial institutions to facilitate lending within the targeted sectors. IESC and its implementing partners identify, assess, train and support farmer groups, women’s associations, and other actors in the agriculture value chains, in pursuit of the project goal.

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(*lead implementer)

 

http://www.iesc.org/finance-examples-of-our-work.aspx