Signs of economic improvement in the West Bank

We were happy to see the recent press about improving economic conditions in the West Bank.  The International Monetary Fund is forecasting a 7% growth rate for 2009, the highest rate of growth since the Intifada.  Leaders in the PA, Israel and US responded favorably and are advocating continued efforts to sustain the recent trends. Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Diaspora Jews to assist Arabs in investing in the Palestinian economy and Secretary of State Clinton issued a $200 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority to support continued growth.

We, like Secretary Clinton, believe that it is more important than ever to contribute to economic development in the Palestinian territories.  While state-level aid will support growth at the large enterprise and public sector level, there is just as large a need for support at the bottom of the pyramid.  Remember, microenterprises make up 95% of all businesses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and 90% have no access to credit services.  We believe that microfinance can play an important role in sustaining the recent progress and in catalyzing further growth in the future.

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One Response

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