Communication for Sustainable Development

World Bank offers loans to entrepreneurs in Palestine

Location map of the Palestinian territories (W...Image via Wikipedia
The Riyadh-based International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is to give an SR11 million loan to support entrepreneurs and create jobs in the Palestinian territories.
“The World Bank is supporting micro and small businesses and encouraging job creation in the Palestinian territories through the loan to Palestine for Credit and Development — known as Faten — a leading microfinance institution,” said Walid Almurshed, head of IFC Saudi Arabia and Investment Principal in the Middle East, North Africa and East Europe.
Faten had more than 12,000 clients, of which 80 percent are women, and a total outstanding portfolio of SR90 million.
“With IFC’s help, Faten plans to reach 22,000 customers and develop a net outstanding portfolio of SR123 million by 2015,” Almurshed said.
IFC’s loan will help Faten expand its outreach in West Bank and Gaza, where 80 percent of employment is generated by micro, small and medium enterprises.

The project will be complemented by IFC’s advisory services to strengthen Faten’s operations and share international best practices so the firm can continue to serve its market, said Almurshed.
Some 70 percent of the population in the Palestinian territories is under 30 years old, and 57 percent of people live below the poverty line.
“Despite West Bank and Gaza’s challenges, there remain plenty of enterprising people that require improved access to finance to turn their ideas into viable small businesses,” said Almurshed.
“We believe our involvement with Faten will help reach more of those aspiring entrepreneurs while encouraging others to invest, help create jobs and grow the economy in this challenging market.”
West Bank and Gaza’s unstable political and security situation over the last decade has constrained microfinance providers’ ability to secure long-term funding and, consequently, only an estimated 20 percent of the territories’ microfinance needs are currently being met, despite West Bank and Gaza’s considerable potential for growth.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.
It creates opportunities for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. It provides financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services by mobilizing capital from others and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development.
In a time of global economic uncertainty, IFC’s new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal year 2010.

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