Ramallah, 29 June 2021 – Under the auspices of H.E. Prime Minister Dr Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestine Monetary Authority, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and the United Nations Development Programme launched the National Helpdesk Scheme – Monshati – to stimulate micro-small and medium-sized enterprises adaptability and strengthen their resilience and recovery.
The MSME National Helpdesk Scheme – Monshati – will support the Palestinian Government’s response to emerging needs and foster business transformation and recovery post COVID-19 reality. The helpdesk will provide a one-stop shop for MSMEs to access information to inform investment decisions, or seek guidance on developing services and production processes to meet local and international market needs, marketing and financial management services, financing opportunities, and legal advisory services.
The Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, Dr Feras Milhem, highlighted the importance of the MSMEs sector in economic development. “Micro-small and medium-sized enterprises contribute 95 percent of economic activity and employ 85 percent of the workforce in the State of Palestine. They create jobs, reduce unemployment and poverty, contribute to economic and productive diversification and support the resilience of people. Supporting them is part of our strategic direction towards developing a specialized lending sector and financial inclusion”. Dr Milhem added that through www.Monshati.ps we will be able to provide special financial services to the MSMEs. He also thanked UNDP for their support and thanked all partners for their cooperation.
The helpdesk is spread across five pilot locations at chambers of commerce offices in Nablus, Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem and Deir Al Balah. The helpdesk also houses a virtual platform that is connected to a large network of private sector development actors and roster of experts. The virtual helpdesk will be managed by the Palestine Monetary Authority and will be an information hub for MSMEs and businesses to receive services similar to those provided by the local helpdesks including online MSME assessments, training workshops and referral to partner institutions. The Helpdesk will not only disseminate information but will also collect it. This will empower stakeholders to update the Helpdesk for it to develop customized services based on existing needs.
Mr Omar Hashim, Chairman of the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture noted that the Federation strives to provide quality services to its members and the private sector at large. “Monshati presents a great opportunity for us to diversify our services and influence policy change for the benefit of the businesses we serve, particularly the ones run by women and youth,” he added.
“MSMEs are responsible for more than two thirds of all jobs worldwide and account for the majority of new job creation. They are the backbone of the Palestinian economy”, said Yvonne Helle, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “We are proud to be part of this collaboration between the public and private sectors and NGOs that will strengthen economic response and ensure an equitable and sustainable post COVID-19 recovery,” she added.
The MSME National Helpdesk is governed by a Steering Committee that is co-chaired by the Palestinian Monetary Authority and UNDP on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office and with the membership of the Ministry of National Economy, Ministry of Finance, Palestine Banking Institute, PalTrade, Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and the Bank of Palestine. The committee will focus on the development and coordination of policy responses that support business transformation and business enabling environment in line with MSME recovery and development needs.
The ceremony, which took place on Tuesday, 29 June 2021, was attended by Dr Feras Milhem – Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority, Dr Shaker Khalil – The Prime Minister’s Adviser on Economic Affairs, Mr Omar Hashim – Chairman of the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Ms Yvonne Helle – UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, and representatives of the Ministry of National Economy, Ministry of Finance, Palestine Banking Institute, PalTrade, Chambers of Commerce and An Najah University legal aid clinic.