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EBRD and EU boost support to private sector in West Bank and Gaza

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD and EU mark five years of support for MSMEs in West Bank and Gaza
  • Business advisory programme fosters job creation and competitiveness of small businesses and have supported 89 advisory projects to date
  • Since 2017 West Bank and Gaza has received over €90 million of EBRD financing for 20 financing projects

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) have marked their five-year partnership in support of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the private sector in the West Bank and Gaza with an event highlighting their achievements under the Advice for Small Businesses (ASB) programme.

Launched in the West Bank and Gaza in 2017, the EBRD business advisory programme aims to boost the Palestinian private sector competitiveness and innovation, as well as to increase access to finance for MSMEs. The programme is co-financed by the EU and has supported 89 advisory projects to date, connecting businesses with local consultants and international advisers, enabling them to enhance their productivity, increase turnover and export to new markets.

During the event, the EBRD and the EU highlighted their achievements in supporting small businesses. Several companies that have benefited from the ASB programme were featured at the event. The tailored advice these businesses received enabled them to expand their operations and markets locally and regionally.

Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director, Regional Head of the Eastern Mediterranean Region, said: “Together with the European Union, we are very pleased to celebrate our fruitful cooperation in supporting the Palestinian private sector over the past five years. The success stories shared today by programme beneficiaries show the importance of this programme in the West Bank and Gaza. We are happy to continue to extend our advisory and financing support to MSMEs, contributing to the development and economic growth of this vital sector.”

Ibrahim Laafia, EU Head of Cooperation, said: "The EU is very happy and proud for the long standing and fruitful partnership with EBRD, as our joint efforts through the ‘Advice to Small Business Programme’ empower individuals and organisations, fostering employment opportunities and economic growth for a promising future for Palestinians. Under the Team Europe Initiative, the European Union remains steadfast in its commitment to further supporting the Palestinian private sector, aiming to establish a self-sufficient, environmentally-friendly, technologically-driven and inclusive economy that thrives in the regional and global trade. This vibrant economy is needed to serve as a crucial component for a prosperous future independent Palestinian state."

To date, the EBRD has financed 20 projects for a total of 90 million and continues to support Palestinian MSMEs through its ASB programme, including women-led businesses.

In 2022 the EBRD Board of Directors approved an extension of the Bank’s work in the West Bank and Gaza, solely through investments in the private sector via a trust fund, to 2027.

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