Microfinance, Youth & Conflict: West Bank Study
This study on microfinance, youth and conflict in the West Bank aims to collect information on the current practices and opportunities for microfinance with youth in conflict-affected areas.The paper aims to
- Examine the impact of conflict on the employment for youth, the supply and demand for finance, and the roles of microfinance institutions (MFIs), youth-serving organizations (YSOs), families and other entities in meeting the demand;
- Procure the following information about working with youth in conflict-affected areas:
- Suitability and type of enterprise development programs,
- Characteristics of work,
- Suitability of various types of financial services.
The paper lists the following findings of the study:
- Palestinian youth are important contributors to the economic survival of their families;
- The livelihood strategy they use most is short-term informal sector work;
- Self-employment provides small earnings and has certain advantages;
- The supply of microfinance to youth is modest and based on the type of business;
- On the demand side, there is a need for:
- Start-up capital,
- Business development services,
- MFIs and YSOs to meet this demand;
- Gender, conflict and education impact young people's decision-making;
- Microfinance has not yet succeeded in reaching the youth.
The study concludes by recommending:
- Demand studies and the development of youth-friendly products and services;
- Small, short-term loans and educational loans;
- Pre-microfinance training activities;
- Development of a regulatory environment conducive for microfinance;
- Non-financial activities to engage youth.