Donates $30,000 to build safe, decent housing for low-income families
AMMAN, Jordan (Jan. 19, 2005) – Citigroup Jordan today announced a $30,000 grant to the local branch of Habitat for Humanity International. The Citigroup Foundation, Citigroup’s social investment arm, provided the grant to support Habitat Jordan’s efforts to build safe housing for families in need.
Habitat for Humanity has been in Jordan since 2001 and in that time has helped build more than 130 homes in five rural communities by providing no-interest, no-profit loans to low-income homeowners willing to pitch in with construction efforts. The goal is not just to build houses - Habitat also builds community, among rich and poor, rural and urban, local and international.
Citigroup’s partnership with Habitat Jordan extends beyond funding. In September 2004, a team of nine people from Citigroup’s Amman branch donned work gloves to help Habitat Jordan and volunteers from the local community build a home in Habaka, a village in the north of Jordan.
“We had an image in our minds of what poverty is, what it looks like,” says Hani Zrari, a resident vice president at Citigroup Jordan, who headed Citigroup’s volunteer team. “We thought of the poor as people with nothing. But what we learned in Habaka is that the poor are not helpless - they are ready to help themselves and each other.”
“Citigroup’s support is particularly important to us because they understand that we don’t build houses for people, we build houses with people,” says Philip Griffith, national director of Habitat Jordan. Griffith is working with Citigroup Jordan staff to plan another volunteer day in spring 2005.
In addition to bringing volunteers from Amman, Habitat also invites people from other countries to share the experience. In October 2004, Citigroup employee and Habitat volunteer Mimi Nettrour was among a group of 10 people from Denver, Colorado who went to Jordan to build a house in the northern village of Al Himmeh.
“I enjoyed working with and getting to know the Jordanian people and helping this wonderful hardworking family to help themselves” says Mimi Nettrour, “My build was very good. Habitat Jordan is a good bunch of people and enjoys strong ties with the business community in the Kingdom, the likes of Citigroup.”
Citigroup is a long-time supporter of Habitat for Humanity across the globe. Habitat for Humanity has affiliates in 100 countries and has built more than 175,000 houses in partnership with low-income families and supporters since it was founded in 1976.
“We’re pleased to bring Citigroup’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity to Jordan,” says Suhair Al-Ali, Citigroup country officer. “We hope to continue our support, and we hope other corporate sponsors will join us in this effort.”
Citigroup has been present in Jordan since 1974. The bank is considered a market leader in the Jordanian market and a leading provider of treasury products. In its 30-year presence in the Kingdom, the bank has evolved into an active corporate citizen, with a particular interest in supporting financial and higher education, microfinance and other humanitarian needs of the country.
Citigroup, the preeminent global financial services company has some 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup’s trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica, Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers Life and Annuity. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com 
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages. www.habitat.org