IFC and FMO today announced a financing package to help one of Yemen's largest food conglomerates ramp up its production and distribution of staples, like flour and milk. The partnership comes as the humanitarian crisis continues in Yemen and its people face a potential famine.
IFC is providing and has mobilized up to $75 million in debt financing for the Hayel Saeed Anam Group's (HSA) operations in Yemen. HSA, which will use the financing as working capital, includes six food companies operating in the dairy, flour, and sugar sectors. This is IFC's first investment in Yemen's agribusiness sector in more than 10 years.
Yemen has persistent food shortages and has one of the highest risks of food insecurity and malnutrition in the world, according to the World Food Programme. FMO and IFC's financing package will help reduce food shortages and ensure supply chain sustainability, including the supply of staple foods to towns and villages across Yemen.
"For nearly 85 years, we have used the strength of our operations to support Yemeni communities," said Nabil Hayel Saeed Anam, Managing Director of HSA's Yemen region and Board Member of HSA Group. "As millions rely on our goods and services every day, we are proud to partner with IFC as we continue to help meet the basic needs of people across Yemen."
The financing package includes a loan of up to $55 million from IFC's own account, and a syndicated loan from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, of up to $20 million. The financing package includes a first-loss guarantee of up to 50 percent from the International Development Association's Private Sector Window. IFC's investment will also support the resilience of Yemen's agribusiness sector and help it navigate COVID-19-related challenges.
"Our aim is to increase the supply of staple goods in a country that has been badly affected by hunger and where the prospect of famine is dangerously high. We also hope our partnership with Hayel Saeed Anam Group will help Yemen's food sector withstand the shocks and stresses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Walid Labadi, IFC Country Manager for Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.
With more than 20,000 employees in Yemen, HSA is also a partner of the World Food Program in Yemen.
"With our first investment in Yemen, we aim to contribute to a continuous and reliable supply of food, in a country with extreme levels of hunger and where the lack of constant supply is known to foster the hoarding of food, in some cases leading to the use of violence and coercion," says Huib-Jan de Ruijter, FMO's Chief Investment Officer.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa. Even before the conflict in Yemen escalated in 2015, the country already had one of the world's highest malnutrition levels, and the situation has significantly worsened over the past six years. The United Nations estimates that 24 million Yemenis—80 percent of the population—are at risk of hunger and disease, with 14 million needing acute humanitarian assistance.
IFC's partnership with HSA is part of a broader strategy to support businesses in fragile and conflict-affected countries. FMO and IFC both aim aim to generate jobs, combat poverty, and create economic opportunities for both refugees and host communities.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the IDA Private Sector Window
As part of the 19th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group is continuing the IDA Private Sector Window (PSW) created under IDA18 to catalyze private sector investment in the poorest and most fragile countries. Recognizing the key role of the private sector in achieving IDA's objectives and the World Bank Group's twin goals, the window provides a source of co-investment funding and guarantees to de-risk private investments supported by IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency. The IDA PSW is an option when there is no commercial solution and the World Bank Group's other tools and approaches are insufficient. For more information, visit: http://ida.worldbank.org/psw
About Hayel Saeed Anam Group
HSA Group is a family-owned conglomerate established in Yemen in 1938 and today is one of the largest multinational businesses based in the Middle East. In Yemen, it is the largest company and includes six food companies: National Dairy and Food Company Taiz, National Dairy and Food Company Hodaida, Yemen Company for Sugar Refining, Yemen Company for Flour Mills and Silos Aden, Yemen Company for Flour Mills and Silos Al Hodaida, and Al Hodaida Flour Mills Company Limited. Through its 50-plus operating companies in Yemen, HSA Group manufactures and supplies essential goods and services to multinational organizations, communities, and families, both in Yemen and across the Middle East and North Africa.