(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Beneficiaries of the Microfund for Women (MFW) and their families no longer need to worry about financial losses they might incur in case of medical emergencies, MFW officials said on Tuesday.
As part of the fund's efforts to help women help themselves, MFW decided to extend medical coverage and benefits to their clients, 97 of whom are women, to include their families under the second phase of the Caregiver Programme.
"We commit ourselves to stand with borrowers in adversity through compensating them for the period they, or their family members, are treated in hospitals," Fadi Tawabini, director of the MFW marketing and non-financial services department, told The Jordan Times.
Under the programme, per diems are paid for each night the beneficiary or a family member spends at hospital, Tawabini said, noting that the amount is JD10.
The cash payments are meant to help offset the cost of food, transportation or other emergency expenses and an extended stay in hospital, especially since beneficiaries represent the "most underprivileged segment of society", he elaborated.
"Health remains a top concern for our clients. Not being able to work due to illness means the suspension of their own businesses and disruption in their monthly loan payments and other dues," he said.
With more than 3,000 clients benefiting from the initiative's recently launched second phase, and receiving over JD105,000 in financial compensation, the programme is based on the fact that women borrowers are the "main caregivers within their households".
The first phase, which was supported by the International Labour Organisation and Women's World Banking, only included clients and was amended to suit the needs of beneficiaries.
"We listen to women and know exactly what difficulties they face," Tawabini highlighted.
Unlike other insurance schemes, the Caregiver Programme, provided in cooperation with the Jordanian Health Insurance Company, does not require prior medical examinations and no exclusions are made for those already suffering certain pre-existing health problems or chronic diseases. It also includes maternity.
"The per diems are disbursed to clients within a few days after the medical emergency," Tawabini said.
MFW Director General Muna Sukhtian said the "great impact" of the programme lies in its ability to "empower" families to face losses that result from treatment costs and leaving work.
Clients pay nominal monthly fees included in their loan payments under the plan.
Established in 1999, the nonprofit fund has extended more than 400,000 loans worth JD150 million, reaching out to more than 70,000 beneficiaries through 37 branches across the Kingdom.
More than 50,000 families have also benefited from life insurance, receiving more than JD530,000 in compensation.