Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) has been involved in multiple humanitarian projects in Palestine. Our signature project is micro-credit financing of family projects often led by women who are widowed (martyred husbands) or whose husbands are unlawfully imprisoned in Israel.
The first interest free, shari’ah compliant loan was disbursed during Viva Palestina Life Line to Gaza convoy in October 2009. But a carefully audited micro-credit program only began in 2012 under the close supervision of our VPM representative in Gaza.
A total of USD 122,000 have been disbursed, providing USD 1,000 – 2,500 per family. 84 projects have been financed ranging from economic start-ups (grocery store, book shop, computer outlets), handicraft start-ups (embroidery, sewing), animal breeding (chickens, sheep, beekeeping cells) and agriculture (fruit and vegetable planting). 80 projects were in Gaza and 4 in West Bank.
65 projects (77%) are fully operative. 11 projects (13%) were destroyed in the 2014 attack on Gaza. There were 8 failed projects (10%). 12 new projects have been identified for funding this first quarter. The beneficiaries have repaid USD 48,800 worth of loans which are further rolled for new projects.
The success of the micro-credit scheme in Palestine has been much attributed to our generous donors who believed in financial independency and sustainability of the Palestinian families. Strict criteria of selection to benefit the worst hit families and close supervision are crucial to ensure best practices are adhered to.
We hope the success of this micro-credit project would encourage more donors to come forward and invest in the economic recovery of Palestine in tandem with other efforts to liberate her from occupation.
Musa Mohd Nordin, Norma Hashim, Hani Thuraya
Viva Palestina Malaysia