- The EBRD, EU and GCF will provide up to US$ 15 million to the Housing Bank (HBTF)
- The loan will be used for on-lending to private businesses to promote investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects
- The funding will enable the HBTF to develop a comprehensive ESG framework in line with the Paris Agreement
The loan which totals US$ 15 million (€13.8 million), includes US$ 3.75 million (€3.4 million) in co-financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF); up to €1.69 million in incentive grants provided by the European Union (EU); and technical assistance supported by the EBRD, EU and GCF.
The loan will help provide the private sector and local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with access to loans to boost investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies and services.
The financing will also be used to build the HBTF’s capacity and for awareness-raising activities on climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies among MSME sub-borrowers. To encourage investments in green technologies, sub-borrowers will also benefit from a cash-back incentive on the successful implementation of eligible projects.
A comprehensive technical cooperation package will support the preparation, implementation and monitoring of the project. HBTF staff will also receive training on gender-responsive green finance to help address gender-specific supply and demand obstacles.
An additional technical assistance package provided under the EBRD’s Corporate Climate Governance Facility will support the HBTF in developing a comprehensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework in line with international best practices. The package will also help the HBTF to implement an institutional transition plan, which will aim to progressively align its business practices and financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement. This will be one of the first projects in the EBRD’s southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region to incorporate such an approach to ESG and Paris alignment, and will set a good example for other banks to follow.
The loan agreement was signed by Gretchen Biery, Director for the EBRD’s eastern Mediterranean region, and Ammar Safadi, the HBTF’s Chief Executive Officer.
"The EBRD is really pleased to be signing this Green Economy Financing Facility with the Housing Bank to increase their clients’ access to climate friendly technologies and services. We are also proud of our continuous partnership with the EU and GCF in extending facilities through the GEFF programme, which is expected to reduce annual emissions by almost 11,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year over the next 15 years in Jordan. We are committed to creating more impact through the programme and to building a greener, more sustainable economy with the help of the private sector in Jordan,"
said Gretchen Biery.
Pierre-Christophe Chatzisavas, EU Ambassador to Jordan, said:
"the EU is pleased with the mobilisation of commercial banks, such as HBTF, in support of development cooperation and climate action. With the use of high-performance technologies and digitalisation, the commercial private sector, particularly MSMEs, has a crucial contribution to make to overall efforts to achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement."
Ammar Safadi, CEO of the Housing Bank, commented:
"In line with the Housing Bank’s positive role towards stimulating economic growth, the Bank continues to expand its network of internal and external partnerships and is pleased to announce its partnership with the EBRD to support Green investment in Jordan. We are the first Bank in Jordan to sign off with the EBRD to launch a comprehensive and integrated strategy aimed at developing the Bank’s governance, environmental and social responsibility policies, in a manner that contributes to encouraging SMEs to invest in projects that support the environment, and in line with the our strategic objectives to adopt the best international practices and standards in this regard."
The HBTF was established in 1973 and is the second largest bank in Jordan by total assets. It is a universal bank offering banking services to the retail, corporate, governmental and public sectors, and to small and medium-sized enterprises through its large network of branches in Jordan and its foreign branches and subsidiaries.
Since 2012 the EBRD has provided more than €1.9 billion through 70 projects in Jordan, of which 71 per cent are in the private sector, including financial support to the Jordanian banking sector through MSME loans, subordinated debt and trade finance facilities.