The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a loan agreement with a Palestinian non-profit organisation to offer microfinance facilities for entrepreneurs in Palestine.
The EIB has partnered with Palestine for Credit and Development (FATEN), which provides small loans and microfinance for Palestinian micro-entrepreneurs, to provide the facility, which will mobilise finance to a total of $10m (€8.99m). FATEN, which was established in 1999 and has been licensed by the Palestinian Monetary Authority since 2014, aims to support the people of Palestine in developing their own micro-, small and medium business projects; with a particular focus on helping women and marginalised communities. It has become one of the country’s largest national institutions, with 310 employees and more than 33,200 currently active borrowers, nearly a third of whom are women; and now covers more than 500 sites, including rural areas and refugee camps.
Dario Scannapieco, Vice President of the EIB, said: “Giving micro-entrepreneurs an opportunity to work and generate income is important for improving the resilience of the overall economy. This new EIB loan to FATEN confirms the EIB’s commitment to support financial inclusion and entrepreneurship.”
The financing agreement, which was signed under the Southern Neighbourhood Microfinance Facility jointly operated by the EIB and the European Commission, is expected to support thousands of micro-entrepreneurs, sole proprietors and self-employed individuals in Palestine. The €71.3m Southern Neighbourhood Microfinance Facility supports investment in finance markets in the Southern Neighbourhood – comprising Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia – with the goal of stimulating innovation and economic enterprise in the region.
FATEN CEO Anwar Jayyosi said: “Since its establishment, FATEN has financed thousands of micro and small businesses, helping people to develop and sustain their own projects, improving the Palestinian economy in the process. This new EIB loan will help FATEN to achieve its vision of comprehensive financial inclusion by supporting small and micro-entrepreneurs.”