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Sanad Partners with Vitas Group to Support Middle East Client Protection Initiative

Published 06/18/2015 by Global Communities

For immediate release. Originally published on Reuters Alertnet.

Sanad Partners with Vitas Group to Support Middle East Client Protection Initiative
Washington, DC (June 18, 2015) – The SANAD Fund for MSME Technical Assistance Facility (SANAD TAF) and Vitas Group began trainings this week, under a $28,000 technical assistance facility granted by SANAD TAF to Vitas, to improve integration of client protection principles across their Middle East microfinance institutions.
The grant to Vitas Group is SANAD TAF’s first technical assistance project on a regional group level, covering the costs associated with hiring a SMART Campaign-certified consultant to assist with the assessment and training of Vitas subsidiaries in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, and the Vitas affiliate in Iraq. These trainings will help the Vitas Group to develop a consistent system for ensuring that staff and policies adhere to industry best practices for client protection, thereby also strengthening Vitas Group’s social performance survey methodology. The project builds on work conducted as part of earlier SANAD TAF support to Vitas Jordan, in which a modular training program on the SMART Campaign’s Client Protection Principles was designed for different levels of staff and implemented through a training of trainers program. This technical assistance grant strengthens SANAD’s partnership with the Vitas network in the Middle East following investments in Vitas Jordan, Vitas Lebanon and Vitas Palestine. 
Elissa Laborde, CEO of Vitas Group, said the support from SANAD TAF is essential for Vitas in its efforts to institutionalize its goals around client protection. “This grant has provided an unparalleled opportunity for us at a network level,” she said. “We have been working to track the social performance of our loans for some time, but getting dedicated technical assistance to integrate our social goals into our operations raises the level of impact we are able to have.”
Wolfgang Reuss, Chairman of SANAD’s Board of Directors, said he is pleased to see the partnership between SANAD and the Vitas Group fostering responsible finance in the region: “SANAD is proud to partner with Vitas Group again, this time for its efforts to further client protection principles in the Middle East. The fact that Vitas shows such commitment to responsible, inclusive finance in the region highlights the parallels in our goals as a social impact investor.”
About the SANAD Fund for MSME and the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility
Initiated and funded by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union in August 2011, the SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) provides medium- and long-term debt and equity financing to commercial banks, microfinance institutions and other financial institutions in the Middle East and North Africa (the MENA region). The purpose of SANAD is to strengthen the local micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector and financial markets in line with the principles of responsible finance. Eligible countries are currently Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia and Yemen. SANAD is a public-private partnership. Its target investor base is comprised of donor agencies, international financial institutions and institutional private investors, including the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), KfW and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). SANAD is privately managed by a consortium consisting of Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt/Main and Oppenheim Asset Management Services S.à r.l., Luxembourg.
The activities of the SANAD Fund are supported by the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility, which provides capacity-building support to partner institutions. The overarching reason for being of the SANAD TAF is to tailor technical assistance to the specific needs of SANAD’s partner institutions. Close collaboration during the project development phase, including joint selection of consultants, is key to ensuring ownership and a prerequisite for project success. The SANAD TAF provides hands-on support on various areas including market studies, business model and product development as well as credit risk and financial management. It is structured independently from the Fund as a Fiduciary Arrangement under Luxembourg law. Oversight and final project approval rests with the Technical Assistance Facility Committee, which represents the TAF donors. It is funded, among others, by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
About Vitas Group
Vitas is a commercial holding company created and owned by Global Communities as a long-term vehicle for fulfilling Global Communities’ mission in micro-, small- and medium-enterprise finance. Vitas Group prides itself on a community-driven approach to lending, and building lasting partnerships in the place where we work. Vitas is 21 percent owned by Bamboo Finance, and currently operates subsidiaries in Lebanon, Romania, Jordan, and Palestine, and shares its brand with the Global Communities institution in Iraq.
For more information please visit: www.vitasgroup.com
Contact:
SANAD: Christine Prütz
+49 69 977 87650 22press@sanad.lu
Vitas Group: Christina Washburn
+01 301 587 4700cwashburn@globalcommunities.org