WASHINGTON, March 2, 2021 (WAFA) - As part of its efforts to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the Palestinian people, the World Bank approved yesterday a second grant of $10 million to support job creation.
The Finance for Jobs II Second Additional Financing (F4J II) intends to further catalyze private investment in high potential sectors for job creation, according to a World Bank press release.
"The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected employment in an already faltering Palestinian economy. Private sector firms and workers, startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are experiencing the economic brunt of the crisis. Job prospects become even more grim with greater impact on women and youth. It is crucial to identify ways to bring sustainable transformational impacts on the livelihoods of the Palestinian people," said Kanthan Shankar, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza.
"The additional funding will support job-creating investment opportunities identified from the private sector with a focus on vulnerable workers and at least 30% employment for women." The F4J II Project is part of a series of projects totaling $24.5 million with the overarching goal of achieving job outcomes through deployment of innovative instruments that crowd in private investment. The new additional financing will provide financing to scale up the Investment Co-Financing Facility, a risk-sharing facility that provides co-financing to commercially viable private sector investments that would otherwise not proceed due to the high risk fragile and conflict environment.
It aims to create an additional 1,500 jobs and mobilize an additional $18 million in private capital by supporting an expected 10–15 investments in mostly medium-sized firms. It will also provide technical assistance to support firms’ adaptation to the COVID-19 crisis.
"One of the key principles underlying this intervention is that creating jobs, especially in times of crisis and economic slowdown, will generate benefits that go beyond the individual gains that result from increased earnings. Hence, capturing not only the number but also the nature and quality of these jobs, remains to be a critical underpinning for this intervention," said Abed Khatib, Senior Financial Sector Specialist.
The Additional financing will also help to contribute to climate change mitigation by targeting investments that help improve environmental sustainability. One example from the parent project is the Gaza Rooftop Solar Power Project that support the installation of solar panels on rooftops of factories and warehouse facilities in the Gaza Industrial Estate, allowing the estate to offer stable and cheaper electricity and meet tenants’ electricity needs, both of which lead to job growth and climate change mitigation and adaptation.