The Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC) is a leading Palestinian non-profit, non-governmental organization involved in rural development and women’s empowerment. PARC provides advice, awareness support, services, and special consultancies for individuals, groups, and institutions involved in similar domains. PARC has 12 cooperatives that cover all of the districts in the West Bank and Gaza with 139 locations and currently reach over 6,000 members. The cooperatives were established after 2000 and were involved in microlending and savings. They have quickly grown and become the second largest MFI in terms of outreach, a laudable achievement during such difficult period, especially given that the cooperatives are the only Palestinian MFIs to offer a voluntary savings product.
The cooperatives are now formed into The Union of Cooperative Associations for Saving and Credit (UCASC). UCASC seek to assist the resources of poor Palestinian households to improve their standard of living and income by expanding efficient sustainable programs on small holdings, and promoting income generating activities. In essence, the SCGs act as village banks for its members and assist poor households in their saving and offer loans
Currently women Saving and Credit Cooperative Associations members of the Union (UCASC) are spread throughout the West bank and Gaza. These set ups are highly competent among the microfinance industry in Palestine. This recent institutional framework, the Union, is now represented in 12 cooperative associations throughout the West Bank and Gaza, representing 176 locations and villages and including 7383 members, for a total amount of $2,638,035 of savings and shares, which represent the major component of the credit portfolio. The overall loan amount distributed since the year 2000 reached the amount of $(10,170,367) and an outstanding portfolio of $3,119,313 as of 31/12/2008.