Palestine is physically divided between the West Bank and Gaza Strip and under constant siege as a result of its ongoing conflict with Israel.
- With a total population of approximately 4.1 million, Palestine suffers from unemployment that hovers near 50%
- 60 to 70% of its population is below the national poverty line
In Gaza, the problem is particularly acute: even before the most recent military offensive by Israel, approximately 80% of Gaza's population lived below the poverty line and more than 55% required food aid. That number has likely increased significantly since the conflict.
Various surveys estimate that microfinance demand extends to 150,000 households, with a need for close to US $200 million in loan capital. Of this demand, less than 20% is being met among the nine microfinance institutions (MFIs) serving Palestine. Currently, regulatory issues, industry capacity and technology gaps, along with current political instability, are all hampering industry growth. However, with strategically placed support, the industry has the potential to meet capacity needs throughout Palestine.
Learn more about Grameen-Jameel’s work in Palestine.