Under the Auspices and Participation of His Excellency the Prime Minister: Announcement of the Expansion and Development of the "Sustainability" Fund to be a Permanent Fund that
Ramallah and Al-Bireh
Under the auspices and participation of His Excellency the Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh and the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority Dr. Feras Milhem, the development and expansion of the base of beneficiaries of the Sustainability Fund for financing economic sectors was announced during a press conference held in Ramallah, during the Council of Ministers’ session held Monday April19th.
It is worth mentioning that Palestine Monetary Authority has recently institutionalized the Sustainability Fund to become a permanent fund aimed at providing continuous financing (loans) through commercial and Islamic banks, to various economic sectors, empowering economic projects affected by health and financial crises to recover, increase the production cycle and create more jobs in order to promote economic growth and in accordance with the government's economic directives.
The Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh, stressed the importance of this Fund and its role in empowering the various economic sectors to survive and continue and contribute positively to the development process, encourage economic growth, in addition to mitigating the economic effects of COVID-19 crisis on economic activities and businesses, especially small and medium enterprises.
Dr. Shtayyeh said that through this Fund, many economic projects would be helped to recover, increase the production cycle and create jobs in line with the general framework and the government's economic directives of supporting young people and entrepreneurs, investing in agriculture and renewable energy, providing specialized industrial zones and integrating into the digital economy.
Dr. Shtayyeh expressed appreciation for the role of Palestine Monetary Authority in maintaining financial stability in Palestine, and the banking system for its responsible contributions and initiatives, particularly during the current health and financial crisis resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19, the clearance revenue crisis and the resulting interruption of salaries of public sector employees, delays in the disbursement of dues to the private sector, suppliers and development projects implemented by the government.
Dr. Milhem asserted that the Sustainability Fund is the product of the restructuring of the "Sustainability" program in light of consultations between Palestine Monetary Authority with private sector representatives, led by the Coordinating Council of the Private Sector, Chambers of Commerce and representatives of federations. Hence, the Sustainability Program will become a permanent fund covering financing programs for various specialized sectors that will contribute to the recovery of the national economy and stimulate economic growth. In addition to sectors directly affected by COVID-19 pandemic. And that Palestine Monetary Authority is seeking to provide funds from domestic and external sources with the aim of promoting economic growth.
Dr. Milhem thanked the Palestinian government represented by the Prime Minister for the $4 million financial grant to Palestine Monetary Authority, which would be used to reduce the credit risk of the microfinance program and enable it to obtain funding for recovery and return to production.
Dr. Milhem explained that the development of this program was done within criteria that enable wider segments of the society to benefit from it, to contribute to economic development and in line with the government's development plan, by urging banks to give priority to providing funding to the economic sectors most affected by the crisis and providing funding to the health sector to help it cope with the health crisis resulting from COVID-19. As well as for the education sector with the aim of ensuring the provision of distance learning to all. The Fund also includes vital programs to build a developed national economy, including digital financing program transformation with the aim of transitioning to the digital economy, integrating into the global economy, and a micro-enterprise financing program to enable small enterprises to recover and continue.
Dr. Milhem added, "Each of these programs is mandated to provide funding for businesses and companies operating within the designated sector, with a financing ceiling of $10,000 for micro-enterprises, $50,000 for small enterprises, $150,000 for medium enterprises, and $300,000 for other enterprises." Dr. Milhem also stated that $10 million had been allocated to the microfinance program, which meant that 1,000 enterprises could benefit from the program. And that the ceilings for health, education and digital transformation projects grants had not been determined.
Dr. Milhem explained that the main objective of Palestine Monetary Authority is to maintain financial stability and encourage economic growth. The establishment of this fund is a prelude to actively contributing to stimulating the economy by focusing on comprehensive use of funding for various economic sectors, integrating micro-enterprises into the economy by enabling them to create more jobs and continue the production cycle, providing funding for women-owned projects and gender-sensitive projects and creating special outlets for women, tourism, agriculture, industry, services, information technology and energy projects. And renewable energy, retail sales and other projects that contribute to enhancing the production cycle, as well as establishing new projects, particularly led by young people, entrepreneurs and experts, and encouraging the establishment of new partnerships and the establishment of production chains.