Economic Empowerment Program for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Given the challenges and difficult living conditions Palestinian refugees endure, PsDF considers it its responsibility to support Palestinians in the diaspora, particularly those living in refugee camps in Lebanon. In 2012, the Program for the Economic Empowerment of Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon was launched. The Program provides microfinance services to entrepreneurs in Palestinian communities and refugee camps, to help improve their living standards and offer them a stable income.
The Program aims to:
- Raise the standard of living in Palestinian communities and refugee camps in Lebanon by helping residents implement their own projects;
- Provide residents with new job opportunities to enhance their living conditions;
- Reduce dependency on external aid and create a relative economic stability.
The Program’s main objective lies in achieving economic autonomy for refugees in Palestinian communities and refugee camps in Lebanon, in order to help sustain them and support them in preserving their Palestinian identity. The Program focuses on young people by building their capacities and skills at an early age, so as to foster the spirit of leadership in them and provide them with the necessary means to reach professional independence.
The Program’s services extend to all segments and categories of society in Palestinian communities and refugee camps in Lebanon where Palestinians are legally authorized to work. The Program covers an array of economic sectors, including manufacturing, agriculture, trade, services, technology, health and education.
The Program’s action consists of granting microloans ($500 - $5000) to Palestinian refugees with low interest rates to urge them to start new projects or develop existing ones.
To fulfill its mission, PsDF has established partnerships with a number of microfinance institutions in Lebanon in order to facilitate the access of refugee projects to credit. To date, it has formed partnerships with four lending institutions in Lebanon that serve all Palestinian communities and refugee camps. The total sum of the granted loans has reached around 2.30 million US dollars so far, and PsDF seeks to increase the capacities of its partners to allow greater support to refugees.
In 2012 and 2013, various training courses to the benefit of its partner institutions were held, in order to build their capacities and ensure the highest degree of efficiency and success.