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On December 13th, 2019, the European
Union launched a new project called 'SAWA' (Arabic word for ‘Together’)
with an overall objective to enhance resilience for Micro- businesses and
create sustainable livelihood opportunities in the Gaza Strip. The project will be
implemented by Enabel - Belgian development agency with a budget of 1,650,000 EURO and a duration of 36 months.
The Gazan private sector has proven to be the main contributor to jobs creation and self-employment in the Gaza Strip. Over the last decade, with the different shocks happened starting with the ongoing closure and restrictions imposed in 2007 and the destructions during the three wars in Gaza, the private sector remains resilient, especially when meeting local needs for construction, agriculture, trade, services and such like. Only a few solitary export-oriented businesses have managed to demonstrate their regional competitiveness.
SAWA takes into account the complex problems which the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) face in Gaza. It will use a multi-level approach to strengthen the self-help potential and competitiveness of the Palestinian community and private sector; including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private companies and their associations.
SAWA will develop a “two-pronged approach”: enhance livelihood of the vulnerable youth and women in marginalized and underserved localities, on one hand, and support growth in facilitating the emergence of new economic opportunities in green and circular economy, on the other hand.
Under Enabel’s direct supervision, coordination and follow-up, SAWA will delegate implementation responsibility to selected Civil Society Organizations and Private Sector Umbrella Organizations (PSUOs) as important partners in the Community-Based Business Support approach.
The community-based Business Development approach is about creating local collaboration among the different stakeholders in the community, so that the community will multiply and scale up its fragmented resources. It is particularly well suited for use among poor, vulnerable and marginalized communities where funding and capacities are limited or in communities that are hard to reach due to social or geographical isolation.
Two types of beneficiary groups will benefit from SAWA interventions: