Microcredit in Lebanon: First Data on Its Beneficiaries

  •  Inaya Wahidi    


In Lebanon, microfinance is not specially developed. Financial institutions that allocate microcredits are NGOs that are mildly supported by the government. The activity of these institutions affects only 11.5% of the population (IFC, 2008, cited by Mayoukou et al., 2013, p.4). These authors note the lack of empirical data related to microcredit granted by microfinance institutions in Lebanon, particularly regarding the characteristics of their beneficiaries. Our study emphasizes the characteristics of beneficiaries of microcredit allocated by MFIs (microfinance institutions) in Lebanon. As a result of data obtained from MFI heads, the results seem to show that NGOs MFIs give more credit to men than to women, and a low percentage of credit goes to startups. In addition, beneficiaries have a low level of education, poor or moderately poor, and are located in rural areas. Gender discrimination in the allocation of micro-credits was highlighted on the basis of the first data processed in this work. The results of the interviews with MFI’s administrative officials seem to show that the men loan officers may distinguish between male and female beneficiaries and prefer to grant microcredit to a man. Women beneficiaries may have less information about the credits offered by them, or do not take initiative because they live in a patriarchal society. Moreover, men go through their wives to get another microcredit.

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