The National Committee for Financial Inclusion in Palestine held its first meeting at the headquarter of the Palestine Monetary Authority in Ramallah, in joint leadership of the Palestine Monetary Authority Governor, Mr. Azzam Al Shawa and the Chairman of the Palestine Capital Market Authority, Dr. Nabil Kassis.
The meeting was opened with a welcoming speech from the joint leadership of the committee, which emphasized on the importance of the strategy in contributing to improving the living conditions for different segments of the society, especially the poor, marginalized and financially excluded. The meeting also discussed the latest progresses in the adoption of the Financial Inclusion national strategy, and the approval of the National Committee Terms of Reference. The National Committee emphasized the importance of promoting and encouraging commitment for the implementation of the Financial Inclusion strategy requirements by official institutions and other relevant parties.
During the meeting, the proposal for the establishment of the Financial Inclusion Technical Committee and its Terms of Reference was approved , which includes two representatives of the main partners, and co-chaired by the Palestine Monetary Authority and the Palestine Capital Market Authority. The Technical Committee will be responsible for providing full coordination among all stakeholders at the executive level to ensure the implementation of the strategy action plan based on the guidance of the Financial Inclusion National Committee, as well as its responsibility for the follow-up and evaluation process and the periodic reporting for the National Committee in accordance with the mechanism set out in the Committee's Terms of Reference.
Palestine is considered one of the first Arab countries to establish a national strategy for Financial Inclusion, in accordance with international standards and best practices. Financial inclusion contributes directly in achieving financial stability and economic growth for countries, through integrating all segments of the society into the formal financial system, protecting their rights financially and facilitating access to finance the MSME’s sector.
It is worth stating that the Council of Ministers decision was issued in December, 2017 to form the Financial Inclusion National Committee, which is responsible for forming policies related to the implementation of the Financial Inclusion national strategy and ensure its implementation, under the joint leadership of the Palestine Monetary Authority and the Palestine Capital Market Authority. The committee consists of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of National Economy, Palestine Stock Exchange, Palestinian Federation of Insurance Companies, Ministry of Social Development, Association of Banks in Palestine and the Microfinance Institutions Network (Sharakeh).