Yemen has a population of 22.8 million and is one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. It is marked by a very young population (near 44% of the population is under 14 years old), widespread unemployment estimated at 35%, and significant poverty with 46.6% of the population living on less than USD2 a day. Human Development Index gives the country a rank of 154th out of 182 countries in 2011.
Access to credit through MFIs is one among several key elements that will promote increases in the incomes of poor rural households. However, as of 2011, microfinance penetration was just 3% of the estimated market, leaving more than 2 million potential microfinance clients un-served.
The 2009 passage of Microfinance Banking Law No. 15, which enables the establishment of microfinance banks that can offer a broad range of microfinance services, has created an exciting new opportunity to develop and expand the industry in Yemen. Two microfinance banks have obtained license under Law No 15.
Grameen-Jameel is a partner with the following microfinance institutions: