Alongside the celebration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, Bank of Palestine allocated the amount of $1,000,000 for the launch of a financial facilities portfolio to finance small and micro projects for persons with disabilities, in pertnership with the Ministry of Labor and support from the Sustainability Fund within the Palestinian Monetary Authority.
The financial portfolio, which was allocated through an initiative from the Bank and the Ministry of Labor, and with the support of the Monetary Authority within the framework of the Sustainability Fund, will allow owners of small and micro projects from persons with disabilities, to establish new income-generating projects, and enable owners of existing projects to continue the production cycle, thus enhancing their resilience to maintain production and create new job opportunities, whereby the portfolio loans will be exempted from bank commissions and interest rates.
The Governor of the Monetary Authority, Dr. Firas Melhem, expressed his enthusiasm about Bank of Palestine’s partnership with the Ministry of Labor to allocate one million dollars from the Sustainability Fund, to launch a facilities financial portfolio to finance small and micro projects for persons with disabilities, noting that this direction is essential in the strategy of the Palestinian Monetary Authority, and falls in line with the goals of launching the Sustainability Fund, which emphasizes great importance to supporting small projects, including persons with disabilities. “This contributes positively to the comprehensive development process, encourages economic growth, and mitigates the effects of economic crises, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and its repercussions on various sectors, activities and groups,” stated Dr. Melhem.
Dr. Melhem added that “There is a strategic commitment from the Monetary Authority to social responsibility, by urging, encouraging and following up on the sectors it supervises, such as banks, to allocate a percentage of their profits in favor of social responsibility, in addition to the instructions issued by the Monetary Authority to banks stressing the importance of adapting bank buidings and banking services to the needs of persons with disabilities, in order to ensure equality for bank customers with disabilities in obtaining all types of banking services and credit facilities.
The Minister of Labor, Dr. Nasri Abu Jaish, stressed the importance of supporting persons with disabilities and contributing to their integration into society, by providing projects that serve all segments of society, especially persons with disabilities, allowing them to achieve economic independence for themselves and their families. Abu Jaish also stressed the importance of adopting a policy of employing qualified people, whether persons with disabilities or other, and the need to implement laws relating to persons with disabilities stipulating employment ratios in all government and other sectors.
Abu Jaish pointed to the importance of cooperation between all institutions in the private, civil and governmental sectors to provide a helping hand to persons with disabilities in Palestine by advancing their economic situation, which positively reflects on their societal role as well as
reducing unemployment rates. Abu Jaish praised the role of Bank of Palestine, stemming from its responsbility towards society, in allocating one million dollars to provide a financial facilities portfolio to persons with disabilities in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and the Palestinian Monetary Authority.
Abu Jaish emphasized that the launch of the financial portfolio will contribute effectively to breaking the unemployment gap among persons with disabilities, in addition to contributing to creating new job opportunities for the unemployed through the development and success of their projects.
Mr. Mahmoud Al Shawa, the General Manager of Bank of Palestine, expressed his happiness toward the bank’s contribution this year to support this important segment of Palestinian society, through the Sustainability Fund, interest and commission free, in partnership with the Ministry of Labor and the Palestinian Monetary Authority, in a manner that achieves sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion in Palestine.
Al Shawa pointed out that launching this financial portfolio with partners for the second time, with an amount doubled from the previous time, will contribute to creating new job opportunities for youth, women, and marginalized groups, enabling partners and project owners to combat unemployment and poverty, in addition to developing gender-sensitive products and projects, and creating olutlets for women.
“Since its establishment, Bank of Palestine has been keen to support and strengthen this marginalized group in our society, stemming from its belief in the need to involve and integrate them in all societal fields, and to provide them the opportunity to reveal their creativity that may exceed all expectations,” stated Al Shawa. “This endeavor falls in line with our commitments and continuous contributions to society, to achieve its aspirations and needs and overcome obstacles,” he added.
Al Shawa added that the bank pays special attention to this segment within society and assists them in overcoming the various challenges they are confronted with, thus enabling them to continue to lead normal lives. Al Shawa called upon all institutions to exert efforts to ensure that the needs and demands of these segments are met.
It is noteworthy that the United Nations has designated this day to support persons with disabilities, by organizing activities and events at the global and international levels, to raise societal awareness of the importance of this segment, and provide it with the necessary support and capability to confront various challenges.