SANAD and Vitas expand access to finance for MSEs and low-income households in the West Bank and Gaza

2020-08-05

Top-up loan of USD 4 million to support microfinance sector during challenging environment brought about by COVID-19 crisis

Luxembourg and Ramallah, August 5, 2020 – The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) has provided a senior loan of USD 4 million to Vitas Palestine Microfinance Company (Vitas). This fourth SANAD investment into the institution will be used to expand financing for local micro and small enterprises (MSEs) as well as low-income households in an environment where these sectors are particularly hard-hit by the economic ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis. 

Vitas is one of the largest microfinance institutions in the region and has been a trusted partner of SANAD since 2015. With a primary focus on providing Palestinian MSEs and low-income households access to finance, Vitas is in a unique position to further SANAD’s goals of economic development and job creation in the Middle East and North Africa.

SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said: “Vitas has been a valuable partner in helping SANAD reach out to MSEs and homeowners in the West Bank and Gaza. We are pleased to continue supporting Vitas, especially during these trying times brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak, in providing financial products and services that respond to borrowers’ business needs and foster the long-term development of individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.”

Vitas General Manager Mr. Alaa Sisalem added: “We cherish our valuable partnership with one of our most reliable partners. Through SANAD’s funding, Vitas Palestine has been able to provide financial products according to clients’ needs that have effectively changed their lives: Our clients have been able to develop their businesses, provide a stable income, and create job opportunities for Palestinian people, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.” 

About SANAD 

The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance, and conducting much required R&D. 

An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital. 

For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit: www.sanad.lu
For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit: www.finance-in-motion.com  

About Vitas Palestine Microfinance Company

Vitas Palestine (formerly Ryada) started as a project in the Gaza Strip in 1994 under a cooperative agreement between USAID and Global Communities (formerly CHF International). The original design of the program was based on a housing finance downscaling model for banks, whereby Global Communities’ role was to originate loans and provide technical assistance on the construction process, while its partner banks provided the lending capital and were responsible for all loan processing, monitoring and collection. Global Communities and the banks shared the capital, risk and income, and it was anticipated that banks would eventually take over the portfolio. Since then, Vitas Palestine has evolved into a program with its own portfolio serving low to moderate-income individual business and homeowners who cannot access mainstream credit sources. It has expanded its branches, number of clients, product offering and gross loan portfolio significantly and is now one of the three largest microfinance institutions in Palestine. 

Vitas Palestine has its head office in Ramallah Albireh and eleven branches throughout Palestine located in Gaza, Khanyounes, Beitlahya, Hebron, Dura, Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarem, Qalqilya, Tubas  and Ramallah.

Vitas Palestine’s vision states: “All people with a desire and capacity to improve their lives should have access to the financial services they need to help them realize their potential and become full social and economic participants in their communities.”

In light of recently adopted banking laws and microfinance regulations that require any institution practicing lending to be registered as a non-for-profit or for-profit company and to be licensed by the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), Global Communities decided to register a for-profit company called Vitas Palestine. In early 2015 all of Ryada’s assets were moved to the new company, which is 97% owned by Global Communities and 3% owned by Vitas Group, and Vitas Palestine was officially launched on January 1st, 2015, officially complying with all PMA requirements. For more information, please visit: www.vitas.ps

Media contact – SANAD
Nikki Eggers
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-470 
Email: press@sanad.lu

Media contact – Vitas Palestine Microfinance Company
Lina Nasr
General Manager’s Office, Manager and PR 
Phone: 0097022410510
Email: lnasr@vitas.ps