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9 March 2016: START UP PALESTINE: Workshop to present and discuss the new procedure manual for the credit and saving cooperatives UCASC

Within the framework of the bilateral initiative “Start Up Palestine”, the consultants from Cassa Padana BCC and Microfinanza s.r.l. presented in Ramallah the new procedure manual for the credit and saving operations, designed together with the Union of Cooperative Associations for Saving and Credit (UCASC). During the meeting, the coordinators of the twelve credit and saving cooperatives of the UCASC network discussed the new procedures, whose goal is to simplify the financial operations, set out new participatory mechanisms for supervision and control, as well as introduce all the needed modifications allowing to effectively disburse the EUR 3 million capitalization fund, as foreseen in the initiative.
 
Established in 2005, UCASC gathers twelve credit and saving cooperatives based in all the West Bank Governorates, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Through a participatory approach in the management of credit and saving operations, the UCASC network allows to almost 7,000 women to access financial services in the most remote areas of Palestine. In ten years, UCASC disbursed worth of EUR 12 million in loans and nowadays, the portfolio reaches EUR 3.5 million.
 
Start Up Palestine”, whose budget is EUR 21.8 million, aims to facilitate access to credit for marginalized groups – women, young graduates, small- and medium-scale farmers. Since 2014, Italian banking and non-banking institutions – such as Fondazione Solidarete, Federcasse, Cassa Padana BCC, Banca Popolare Etica and Microfinanza s.r.l. – are providing technical assistance to the Palestinian counterparts working in the field of cooperative banking. Padana BCC, Banca Popolare Etica e Microfinanza s.r.l. – offrono assistenza tecnica alle controparti palestinesi attive nell’ambito del credito e risparmio cooperativo.