West Bank/Gaza

Apr 20, 2012
On Earth Day, which takes place each year on April 22nd, we recognize the importance of clean air, clean water, and the importance of maintaining the integrity of the natural world around us. CHF is working in many of its programs to promote environmental sustainability and contribute to the body of knowledge in regards to “green construction” practices. By implementing programs that are sustainable and “green,” we are helping the communities in which we work improve their surroundings and their environment. West Bank and Gaza—Safeer Children’s Center In the West Bank, CHF’s green construction initiatives are creating a model for the future of environmentally sustainable buildings in the Middle East. The Safeer Children’s Center incorporated... Read more
Jul 09, 2020
How pivoting from auditing to advising helps financial institutions manage risk during COVID-19 By Richard Shumann,Chief Risk Officer for Vitas Group
This blog entry was originally published on FinDev Gateway   Internal auditors are an essential component of microfinance providers’ internal control and risk management functions, but how should they react to a sudden crisis? Experience in Vitas Group shows that a quick pivot from auditing to advising, supported by management and collaboration among auditors, helps financial institutions adjust internal controls and manage risk. Vitas Group operates micro and small enterprise... Read more
Jun 22, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted the business community around the world. Small businesses in developing economies have been hit particularly hard. Countries like Iraq and Lebanon were experiencing social and political unrest as the pandemic struck, while Jordan and Palestine were already facing economic recessions, further compounding their problems. This report summarizes the results of a COVID-19 client survey among Vitas Group network institutions. Surveys were conducted in May 2020 with clients in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Romania, where Vitas served a combined 90,298 active clients and an... Read more
Apr 06, 2020
The Local Government and Infrastructure (LGI) program, (2010–2017) improved the quality of life for Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza for both long-term development and emergency response. Water-related infrastructure under LGI included construction of a ground water tank connected to the main water supply line and water network to ensure continued access for nearly 3,000 individuals. It also incorporated a storm water harvesting system on the roof of a community center, collected in an existing well, with excess water piped to agricultural land. Our outreach also included hygiene behavior change mechanisms. Read more about our global capacity in preventing, mitigating and responding to outbreaks of... Read more
Feb 22, 2020
Vitas Group, created by Global Communities is a for-profit holding company that operates a network of microfinance companies, predominantly in the Middle East. They are a unique group of companies with more than twenty years of proven track record of successfully lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises and the only such investment vehicle for impact investors in the region. Since 2004, Vitas companies have disbursed more than $3 billion to over 1 million customers with an annual default rate below two percent. Every two years, Vitas Group surveys clients in its affiliated institutions to assess customer satisfaction, the impact of loans... Read more
Jun 05, 2019
Vitas Group recently issued a report including a Gender Action Plan that seeks to offer tailored services and a better understanding of the needs of women clients, which is expected to result in improved retention and outreach for borrowers. Vitas Group is a Global Communities enterprise established in 2006 as a microfinance holding company with subsidiaries in Lebanon, Romania, Jordan and Palestine, and affiliates in Iraq and Egypt. In 2018 the Vitas Group launched the Vitas Values Equality initiative to raise awareness and secure from all tiers of management a commitment to embracing gender equality across the network. Then in March of this year Vitas Iraq,... Read more
Jan 22, 2019
By Joseph Krauss. This article originally appeared on the Associated Press website. JERUSALEM (AP) — Tens of thousands of Palestinians are no longer getting food aid or basic health services from America, U.S.-funded infrastructure projects have been halted, and an innovative peace-building program in Jerusalem is scaling back its activities. The Trump administration’s decision last year to cut more than $200 million in development aid to the Palestinians is forcing NGOs to slash programs and lay off staff as the effects ripple through a community that has spent more than two decades promoting peace in the Middle East. The U.S. government’s development agency, USAID, has provided more than $5.5 billion to the... Read more
Dec 15, 2018
Message from Elissa McCarter-LaBorde, CEO of Vitas Group The year 2017 marked several exciting developments for Vitas Group. We signed shareholders agreements and closed investments with new commercial partners in Lebanon and Egypt. Saradar Bank purchased a 49 percent stake in Vitas Lebanon and committed $20 million in new debt financing to expand our footprint across the country. Saradar Bank is a premier financial institution in Lebanon and has been at the center of Lebanese banking for over 60 years. Egyptian private equity firm BPE Partners, through its new subsidiary “Ebtikar,” entered a 50/50 joint venture to launch Vitas Egypt. Vitas Egypt will be the first microfinance company in the country... Read more
Aug 03, 2018
The World Is Getting Younger: Aid Groups Rush to Meet Urgent Needs By Megan Rabbitt, Communications Manager, USGLC A staggering 25 percent of the global population is now between the ages of 10 and 24. And while meeting the needs of an outsized youth population would be a challenge for any country, the majority of the world’s young people are concentrated in resource-strapped nations. As this so-called “youth bulge” continues to grow, developing countries will need the support of developed nations and private organizations to ensure every young person has the chance to become a self-sufficient adult. International... Read more
Apr 22, 2018
Global Communities, Calvert Impact Capital Sign $5 Million Loan Agreement to Expand Lending in the Middle East  Global Communities recently closed a new loan agreement for $5 million with Calvert Impact Capital. The funds will be used for on-lending to Vitas Palestine to support housing lending in both Gaza and the West Bank over three years. Global Communities and Calvert Impact Capital have collaborated since 2007, when they signed a $1 million loan agreement that helped Global Communities grow its lending portfolio from $120 million to $260 million. Commenting on the transaction, Richard Shumann, Director of Development Finance Operations at Global Communities, said: “Global Communities is excited to expand our 11-year relationship with Calvert Impact Capital.  The new loan allows us... Read more
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