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Friday, July 9, 2010

Islamic Relief-Sponsored Microfinance Businesses Receive Awards

For two Palestinian entrepreneurs, their hard work to establish small businesses through microcredit loans from Islamic Relief have garnered them first and second prizes in the category of finance in a microenterprise competition held by the Palestinian Network for Small and Micro Finance.

First prize of $2,500 went to Rafat Musa’d Ysusf from the Mughazi area in Palestine, for his business of selling frozen food and establishing a restaurant. Second prize of $1,500 went to Muhammad El Sharif for his tailoring shop north of Gaza. Both business owners were granted microcredit loans from Islamic Relief Palestine, which helped them develop their projects.

The competition, which was also sponsored by Islamic Development Bank, Murabaha Program, United Nations Development Program and Oxfam Novib (a Dutch affiliate of the international Oxfam relief organization), was organized by Sharakeh, a nongovernment organization established in 2002 that represents a forum of microfinance and nonprofit institutions and programs and focuses on the growth of the microfinance industry in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Kareem Okasha, coordinator of the Murabaha Program, said the achievement of the two entrepreneurs shows how successful microfinance is. “This achievement is the result of teamwork efforts of Murabaha Program and the diligence of the borrowers who spare no effort in developing and improving their projects.”

Microfinance is one of the types of income generation projects that Islamic Relief employs to help rehabilitate afflicted peoples. Other programs include cash for work and vocational training. Click here to read more about what Islamic Relief does in Palestine.

Islamic Relief USA CEO Abed Ayoub, who just returned from a trip visiting IR programs abroad, applauded a similar microfinance program in Mali. To learn about Islamic Relief USA's work in Palestine, click here. To donate to Islamic Relief USA, click here.
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