The Central Bank of Jordan has announced a $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for an initiative aimed at empowering low-income Jordanians and refugees.
The first initiative of its kind in the Middle East, MM4R (Middle East, Mobile Money for Resilience) will provide access to advanced digital financial services such as payment transfers, savings, and credit for low-income Jordanians in Ma’an, Tafileh, Mafraq, and the capital Amman, with the dual goals of supporting local economic development and building greater financial resilience among households and businesses. The initiative, which hopes to raise $11 million over five years, also will work to facilitate public-private partnerships aimed at improving the quality of life for refugees by expanding their access to finance, developing a digital financial service ecosystem, and improving the effectiveness of humanitarian cash transfer programs.
"For decades, Jordan has played a central role in hosting refugees and displaced persons from the Middle East and beyond, and the impact of this is felt by host communities as well as the refugee population," said Valerie Nkamgang Bemo, who leads the Gates Foundation’s global humanitarian program. "Digital financial service programs like Mobile Money for Resilience will allow the most vulnerable populations to receive and save money, grow businesses, and escape poverty. We believe this will result in a better integrated society, and we welcome other partners to join this important effort to expand its impact."
“The CBJ, Gates Foundation Launch Empowerment Initiative.” Central Bank of Jordan Press Release 02/28/2018.