Dubai’s Abraaj Capital and the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) have raised $15m for a $50m private equity fund to be deployed in the West Bank and Gaza.

The fund will invest in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across several sectors in the Occupied Territories. It will continue raising money throughout the year. Its aim is to reach a total of $50m.

The fund aims to make up to 20 investments during the next four years.

PIF has already acted as guarantor for over $50m worth of loans to more than 200 SMEs under its Loan Guarantee Scheme.

SMEs account for about 95 per cent of the Palestinian economy, according to Abraaj, as well as 84 per cent of private sector employment and 55 per cent of gross domestic product.