Palestine Monetary Authority Participates in COVID-19 Conference “The Case of Palestine: Challenges and Confrontations”
Ramallah and Al , Bireh – Palestine Monetary Authority participated in the "The Case of Palestine: Challenges and Confrontations" conference organized by the Prime Minister's Office, which highlighted the most prominent local challenges, efforts and actions to promote all sectors, and keep up to date with the latest developments in the world, to address the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, economic, security, social and educational levels.
The Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, Dr. Feras Milhem, presented in the Economic and Financial Component session, through Zoom, the most prominent measures taken by Palestine Monetary Authority since the beginning of the pandemic, which aimed to maintain financial stability and support the local economy and government in the face of the economic effects of the pandemic. In addition to the financial crisis that happened in the second half of last year, praising the role of banks in their social contribution during the pandemic period and their support for various economic and health sectors.
The Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority stressed that the Palestinian banking sector had maintained its strength, robustness and continuity of functions despite the crises experienced by the economy during the past year, pointing out that Palestine Monetary Authority had provided cash in the banking sector, and activated tools to strengthen financial stability, by stimulating banks and granting them with incentives to provide facilities for important and vital economic sectors, especially the productive, industrial and health sectors. 78% of the banking facilities were granted to the private sector. And the facilities provided to the government amounted to 22% of the total banking facilities, in order to enable the government to pay its financial obligations and maintaining the economic cycle in exceptional circumstances.
Dr. Milhem said Palestine Monetary Authority had developed "Sustainability" Program to finance small and medium and micro-enterprises to be a permanent program within criteria that enable wider groups of the society to benefit from it, to contribute to economic development and in line with the government's development plans.
Dr. Milhem explained that Palestine Monetary Authority, through its strategic plan over the next five years, sought to reach a competitive digital economy, through the development of financial technology and electronic payment tools, digital transformation in the Palestinian economy, and the use of e-commerce, because of this development's role in promoting innovation and creativity and creating new opportunities for young people and enabling them to enter the market through various projects, which would enhance financial inclusion in Palestine.
Dr. Milhem pointed out that Palestine Monetary Authority, in keeping with the developments of global banking, would work to conduct an integrated study on the possibility of using the digital or accounting currency in Palestine, and present it to the Council of Ministers. Dr. Milhem pointed out that many of the world's central banks, which used to have a conservative position on the digital currency, had reconsidered their position during the period of the pandemic concerning this currency and the possibility of using it and its importance, and to be a way to complete the financial processes of accounting between countries.
The Deputy Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority Mr. Mohammed Manasrah emphasized, during his participation in the Economic and Financial Component session of the Conference, that Palestine Monetary Authority sought to raise more funds and expand the beneficiaries of the "Sustainability" Program to finance medium and small projects, by focusing on some important sectors such as the health sector by supporting comprehensive healthcare and providing health equipment for government and private hospitals to address the crisis of COVID-19 pandemic, and supporting online education sector development projects that work to prepare educational materials and provide technological services and the necessary equipment, in addition to supporting artisan businesses by providing soft loans to these businesses and maintaining their sustainability.