Ramallah, West Bank, April 28, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting micro and small businesses
and encouraging job creation in the West Bank and Gaza through a $3 million
loan to Palestine for Credit and Development—known as Faten—a leading
As of March 31, 2011, Faten had more than 12,000 clients, of which 80 percent
are women, and a total outstanding portfolio of $24 million. With IFC’s
help, Faten plans to reach 22,000 customers and develop a net outstanding
portfolio of $33 million by 2015.
“We consider this engagement with IFC as the start of a long-lasting and
fruitful strategic partnership,” said Faten Managing Director Anwar Jayyosi.
“This project will help us continue to expand our microfinance services
to low-income yet active Palestinians and prove that the microfinance sector
in West Bank and Gaza is worth investing in.”
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. 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 K. Aftab Ahmed, IFC Director for Global
Financial Markets and private Equity Funds in Europe, Central Asia, Middle
East and North Africa. “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, as a result, 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. We create
opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do
so by providing 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, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion
in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
Faten is a non-profit company and one of the pioneering microfinance providers
in the West Bank and Gaza. It was established in 1999 with a mission to
provide financial services to small and micro enterprises and a goal of
empowering families and developing the community. Since inception, Faten
has disbursed 93,000 loans, 80 percent of them to women, with total disbursements
of $100 million. For further information, visit: www.faten.org.