Gaza Women’s Loan Fund

May 23, 2013 ANERA
Economic Development, Gaza, Job Creation, Microfinance

The Reality

Gaza’s population suffers from a multitude of problems, including high unemployment, poverty and polluted water sources. Gazan women in particular have to struggle to support their families because of few job options available to them. Buy many women have business ideas that could bring in revenue. They just lack support and financial backing to get started.

ANERA’s Response

The Gaza Women Loan Fund (GWLF) was established in 1995 by the Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA) and ANERA to provide working capital to low income women to reduce poverty, create employment, and generate income. Beneficiaries are among the poorest in Gaza and are between the ages of 19 to 55 years old. The program has provided over 18,000 loans to more than 12,000 individuals, half of whom are women.

Loans have supported micro-businesses such as kiosks that sell clothing and household items, animal husbandry products for raising pigeons, rabbits, and chickens, and home-based food-processing. Since 2008, the GWLF has been functioning on its own, sustaining its capacity for helping women gain a foothold in the marketplace.  Payback on the loans has been 100%.

How It Works

  • Applicants explain the purpose of the loan and their business plan.
  • GWLF approves loans and disburses funds through the Bank of Palestine to support both new and existing microenterprises. 
  • GWLF loans range from $1000 to $3000.

Meet an Entrepreneur

A Palestinian woman in Gaza working on embroidery.

“I decided to rely on myself the day I lost my husband. There are no other means to live but the Gaza Women’s Loan Fund gave me a chance to succeed.” Om Nafez Salama, 60, refugee from Rafah. Read more >>