Microfinance, Youth & Conflict: West Bank Study

Case study
Date Published: 
Jan 2006
Author: 
James-Wilson, D. & Hall, J.
Publisher: 

Overview of microfinance in the West Bank

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.
Type: 
Case study