The voice of the MICROFINANCE industry in LEBANON
Established in 2015, the LMFA serves as the voice of the microfinance industry in Lebanon, representing nine member organizations on the national and international levels linking them up with relevant actors, and offering them value-added services.

Like many associations, we are experiencing a rapidly shifting microfinance environment. Today there is increased need and demand for youth, women and vulnerable population’s access to formal financial services and skills development both on the scholastic and vocational levels. There are barriers to financial inclusion due to conflicts and many other challenges. At the same time, promising new developments such as digital finance, innovative credit information systems, and changes in regulatory environments offer new opportunities. In service to our members, we are working collaboratively with industry stakeholders to navigate this dynamic environment to facilitate a robust inclusive finance sector.

In response to the changing landscape and with the strategic support of our members, partners and some tactical donors’ funding, the LMFA aligns its corporate strategy with the global SDG’s. Setting the course and its efforts to respond effectively to the changing needs, building strong development partnership and sustain its efforts to alleviate poverty and expand financial inclusion. We continue to work for a better Lebanon, where people can experience personal economic growth and healthier opportunities.

Excellent Lebanese Microfinance sector inclusive and integrated with the Lebanese financial sector.

Support microfinance institutions to improve the provision of financial services to non-inclusive groups in the main and official financial system and to activate the relationship between microfinance institutions and the relevant authorities.


1. Contribute to the promotion of sustainable industry, raise the level of awareness on microfinance in the community, unite the members’ voices and represent them before all the authorities.

2. Contribute to the formulation and promotion of the national standards within the scope of universally accepted best practices in the sector, work on unifying the terminology used by the members and designate a common language for the microfinance industry.

3. Contribute to the coordination and effective participation in the activities of this sector, both in and outside Lebanon, and encourage the active and feasible communication among its personnel.

4. Contribute to the work and cooperation with all parties, whether national or foreign, inside and outside Lebanon, in order to fulfill the interest of the sector institutions in Lebanon and work on expanding the circle of the sector donors and financiers.

5. Contribute to raising the effectiveness of microfinance institutions in Lebanon and strengthening the skills in terms of quantity and quality.

6. Participate, cooperate and coordinate with all the organizational, regulatory and governmental parties for setting the policies and legislations which aim and help in developing the sector and contribute to work on creating a supportive legislative environment for the sector.

7. Hold the local, regional and global training, cultural and educational activities and any other activities to serve the sector.

8. Provide support and contribution to the exchange of information among the members themselves and between them and all the relevant authorities.

The Lebanese Micro-Finance Association founded on January 12th, 2015 in the Lebanese Republic
and registered under the Registered Notice No.31, as a non-profit and non-political organization.

Administrative Committee

Youssef el Khalil – President
Association pour le Development Rural


Dr. Youssef el Khalil studied at the American University of Beirut, the university of Sussex, England, and the “Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le development International”, France, where he obtained his PhD.
He joined the Lebanese Central Bank in 1982 as an economist and is at present Senior Director of the Financial Operations Department which is responsible of the implementation of the national monetary policy, and a member of the Bank’s Open Markets Committee. He is a board member of several Non-Governmental Organizations operating in Lebanon and serves as the Chairman and board of trustees of Teach for Lebanon. As a founder and chairman of ADR- Association for the Development of Rural Capacities, he has participated in the design and the implementation of projects pertaining to low income housing, microfinance, vocational training and agricultural development mainly in the South of Lebanon. He is one of the founders of the Lebanese Microfinance Association and current Chair.

Mayada Baydas Vice President
Emkan Microfinance


A leading expert in the field of development finance with over 25 years of experience with research, strategic planning and advising, and managerial work focusing on the establishment and management of NGOs and financial institutions, specialized in sustainable microfinance.Working experience in over 40 countries, in several regions around the world, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

Bachar Kouwatly Secretary
IBDAA Microfinance


Boasting 28 years of combined credit and marketing experience in commercial and Islamic banking, Bachar Kouwatly has distinguished himself as a professional senior banker with a personal interest in developmental issues and commitment to alleviate poverty in Lebanon. In 2012, Bachar joined the microfinance initiative of the Arab Gulf Fund for Development as the CEO of IBDAA Lebanon, steering its establishment and growth. Beyond this pioneering local partnership with the Arab Gulf Fund for Development (AGFUND), he has served as a board member and offered technical support and counsel for four other AGFUND microfinance banks across the Arab region, in addition to his active role as a Board member of the Microfinance Network for the Arab world (SANABEL). His proficiencies in strategic formulation, financial, operations and risk management, as well as his commitment to people development, streamlining corporate communication, and optimizing stakeholder relations, combine to complement and bolster his background in core banking.

Chady Rached – Treasurer
Association d’Entraide Professionelle

Youssef Fawaz – Member
The Lebanese Association for Development – Al Majmoua


Youssef Fawaz is the Executive Director of the Lebanese Association for Development – Al Majmoua. He joined Al Majmoua as a Founding Board Member in 1996, and became Executive Director in 2004.

Youssef was one of the founding members of Sanabel, the Microfinance Network of Arab Countries, and has served twice a two-years term as Chairman of the Board in 2008 and in 2015.
He is presently a member of the Steering Committee of the MicroFinance Network and serves on a number of boards and general assemblies of several regional and international microfinance networks.

Youssef holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining Al Majmoua, he worked as a Transportation Engineer with SOLIDERE, the company in charge of rebuilding the Beirut Central District. He is also a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Engineering at the American University of Beirut, where he has been teaching since 2001.

Ziad Halaby – Member
Vitas sarl


Ziad Halaby has been the CEO of Vitas s.a.l., since beginning 2005. Mr. Halaby currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Lebanese Microfinance Association, Vitas Romania and CHF Management and Consulting Services Egypt. He served between 2010 and 2016 on the Board of Directors of Sanabel the Microfinance Network of the Arab Countries. Mr. Halaby has expertise in corporate finance, microfinance, NGO and MFI, management in several countries including Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Azerbaijan, Belgium, and Lebanon. He is a Charted Management Account and holds an MBA from the American University of Beirut as well as an MSc in Financial Risk Management from FUSL Brussels.

Samer El Safah – Member
Makhzoumi Foundation


Mr. Samer El Safah has extensive experience in the field of administrative and social work that he has acquired in more than 15 years following his graduate studies in Management and Informatics at Regent University in New York and the Lebanese American University in Beirut. During his work as the General Manager of Makhzoumi Foundation, he participated in the establishment and management of numerous programs and units, including the Vocational Training Program, the Microcredit Program, the Health Care Program, the Relief and Humanitarian Services Unit and the Development Program. During this period, he held several posts such as founding Member of the National Network of Microfinance Institutions, member of the Lebanese American University Alumni Advisory Group Members in Adnan Kassar College of Business, member of the CSR Regional Network and member of the administrative and advisory Board of Humanitarian Funds in the Arab countries.

Afaf Nehme – Member
Entrepreneurial Development Foundation


Mrs. Afaf Nehme is the Executive Director of the Entrepreneurial Development Foundation, with over 25 years’ experience in banking, finance and NGOs management.

She is extensively specialized in microfinance, capacity building and vocational training for MSMEs, SMEs and startups on the National and the European scene.

Striving for development and success, her motto is: “if you have a dream and you have commitment and discipline, you can do it”.

Throughout her years of experience, she spread this motto among the less privileged in the rural areas of Lebanon specially Women and Youth to enhance the individual economic capacity for the best of humanity.

Serje Oueis – Participatory Member
Cooperative Libanaise pour le Development


Serge Oueis has been the CEO of the Lebanese Development Cooperative since 2008. He is also the lawyer of Saint Joseph School, Aintoura, and the General Secretary of Mubadarat Initiatives Organization. Mr. Oueis holds a BA in Law from Saint-Joseph University.

LMFA Executive Team

Ola Hariri
LMFA Program Manager