USAID Launches Project To Support Palestinian Enterprises
Ramallah – The United States launched the Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance for Recovery and Transition Project (SMART) to support Palestinian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups on Thursday, February 17.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 93% of businesses in the West Bank and Gaza reported a decrease in goods and service delivery, and at least 50% drop in sales. “COVID-19 has impacted the Palestinian economy immensely and we are committed to improving the lives of Palestinians and helping them secure a prosperous future,” said Aler Grubbs, USAID Mission Director to the West Bank and Gaza.
To support business recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic USAID is implementing the $40 million project from 2021 through 2025. In its first year, SMART will provide assistance to over 100 Palestinian firms, train employees on new technologies, and generate new sustainable jobs. Through its activities, SMART will improve private sector competitiveness, reduce trade barriers, and attract local and international investments.
This project is part of the larger USAID investment to improve the lives of Palestinians and set the conditions for a viable two-state solution. In 2021, USAID provided over $110 million in development and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.