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Expanded and Sustained Access to Financial Services (ESAF)

  • West Bank/Gaza
2008 - 2012

The Expanded and Sustained Access to Financial Services (ESAF) project was designed to build a more inclusive financial sector in the West Bank and Gaza, increasing sustainable access to financial services for Palestinian households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The broad-based program worked across multiple levels to create a solid foundation for economic growth. At the national or regulatory environment level, ESAF helped develop a national microfinance framework. At the retail level, ESAF provided technical assistance to banks, microfinance institutions and nongovernmental organizations. At the consumer level, the program worked to increase individuals’ awareness of and engagement in the financial sector through financial literacy and consumer protection activities, and helped microentrepreneurs affected by conflict get back on their feet. The program also included a fixed-capital financing mechanism, known as the Palestine Investment Partnership (PIP), that funds equipment upgrades for small and medium enterprises, helps create joint ventures and technology transfer, and facilitates other forms of capital inflow to profitable businesses that can expand immediately and provide sustainable jobs.

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