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Jordan sees benefit of private sector aid

Five years ago Ruwwad, an organisation started by a group of Jordanian businessmen, ventured into the underprivileged Jabal al-Nathif neighbourhood in Amman offering a helping hand. “When we asked what they needed they gave us a long list of requirements: schools, a bus stop, a healthcare centre, a post office,” recalls Fadi Ghandour, head of Aramex...the main driving force behind Ruwwad. “It took the people two years to accept us ... But we did it all...” Ruwwad is a prominent example of an emerging trend in the Arab world – the private sector’s foray into philanthropy and corporate social responsibility...Private sector involvement, however, continues to be constrained by the absence of a legal and institutional framework...Frederic Sicre, an executive director at Abraaj Capital, the Dubai-based private equity firm that has a programme for educating orphans in the Gaza Strip, says companies are also struggling to define what they want to get involved in.