Bank of Palestine, the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection and the Ministry of Finance signed an agreement to create employment opportunities for unemployed graduates and youth to fund small and micro projects in the amount of 50 million Dollars. The agreement was signed at the headquarters of the Palestinian Fund in the city of Ramallah, in the presence of Mr. Mamoun Abu Shahla, the Minister of Labor, Mr. Rushdi Ghalayini, the Director General of Bank of Palestine, Mr. Farid Ghannam, representative of the Ministry of Finance, and several representatives from the Palestinian Fund, the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Palestine, in addition to journalists and media persons.

Based on this agreement, Which is valid for a period of five years, the bank will allocate a financial portfolio in the amount of 50 million Dollars, and cooperate with the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection to create opportunities for youth and enable them to fill out applications to obtain facilitated loans at low interest rates, as well as provide a grace period for graduates and youth who wish to establish income generating developmental projects. Project proposals will be reviewed and evaluated, and the Joint Employment Offices at the Palestinian Fund will submit them to any of the branches and offices of Bank of Palestine that are spread across the Palestinian governorates. These procedures will commence during the second half of July 2018. Individuals who are interested in establishing production projects will be given the opportunity to apply for personal loans up to $15,000 per loan from Bank of Palestine, after project proposals are reviewed and evaluated by the Joint Services counter at the Palestinian Fund, which is available in all Palestinian governorates, and all necessary facilitations provided.  

During the signing ceremony, Mr. Mamoun Abu Shahla, the Chairman of the Palestinian Fund for Employment and Social Protection, who is also the Minister of Finance, stated that this agreement is a national one par excellence, and it will provide an opportunity for thousands of youth to establish small and micro productive projects across the Palestinian governorates. According to Abu Shahla, such projects will inevitably contribute to alleviating the level of unemployment and decreasing imports. He added that the establishment of productive projects is the ideal way to decrease the high level of unemployment in Palestinian society, as it reflects the governmental strategy that was created to combat this phenomenon.

Abu Shahla clarified that this concept of operation has been tested in developed countries and proved its ability to promote their economy and combat unemployment, stressing the willingness of President Mahmoud Abbass and Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al Hamadallah to provide all necessary facilitations to alleviate the problem of unemployment and provide employment opportunities for all graduates and unemployed individuals in general. At the same time, Abu Shahla indicated that project beneficiaries will feel at ease due to the many advantages provided to them upon obtaining these loans, including low interest rate, the grace period, and other credit facilitations.

Mr. Rushdi Ghalayini, the Director General of Bank of Palestine, expressed his enthusiasm about the bank's rank at the forefront of financial institutions that contribute to economic development by promoting employment opportunities for graduates and youth. Mr. Ghalayini referred to the efforts conducted by the bank to alleviate the level of unemployment in Palestinian society by promoting the facilitations portfolio that is especially designated for small, medium and micro-sized projects, reaching approximately 400 million Dollars. He also clarified that the bank promoted this portfolio by signing other agreements with the Palestinian Federation of Industries and the Ministry of Labor to fund projects for persons with disabilities to enable them to establish small productive projects.