At its inaugural event in Irbid, the USAID/Jordan Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS) launched 12 new grants in targeted governorates to support the growth of micro and small enterprises (MSEs). The USAID LENS project aims to support economic growth in disadvantaged areas by providing assistance to MSEs and by helping Local Development Units plan and implement activities that bring growth and investment to communities. “The new grants in Irbid will support Jordanian MSEs in promising sectors such as tourism and food processing,” said Mona Yacoubian, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the USAID Middle East Bureau. “USAID remains committed to ensuring that we reach into Jordan’s most vulnerable communities to restore hope for a prosperous future. This is the focus of the USAID LENS project.” Irbid Governor H.E Hassan Assaf said, “We thank USAID LENS for its support to our public and private sectors to attract investments and encourage economic growth.” In Irbid, the project is working closely with the municipalities of Mazar Al Jadeeda, Muath bin Jabal, Shou’la and Tabaqet Fahel to identify specific actions that will create a more business-friendly environment, support entrepreneurship, and increase investment. The project is now in the process of implementing opportunities in partnership with the municipalities. “The launch of USAID LENS initiatives in Irbid signifies our important partnership with USAID to provide comprehensive support for economic development in Jordan,” said H.E Dr. Ra’ed Al Adwan, Director of the Local Development Directorate at the Ministry of Interior. USAID LENS currently operates in the governorates of Irbid, Zarqa and Amman (outside the Greater Amman Municipality) and will expand into two other governorates this year.