The number of people displaced because of conflict or violence is at record highs, over 70 million according to UNHCR, and the duration of their displacement now averages 10 to 15 years. This calls for longer term solutions at the nexus of the humanitarian and development world. The Syrian conflict has made the need for policy action even more pressing.
The Role of Financial Services in Humanitarian Crises
Financial services have a role to play in mitigating humanitarian crises. They can help forcibly displaced people build resilience by providing the resources to address health shocks, for example. Access to savings and credit can enable forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) to seize economic opportunities, allowing them to start new businesses provided they have the right to work. But more needs to be done to help people rebuild their economic lives. Financial regulators need to make it easier for FDPs to access formal financial services; governments need to include financial services in their crisis planning; financial service providers need to train up staff; and donors need to build financial services into longer term solutions for managing humanitarian crises.
Since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011, Lebanon and Jordan have shouldered the impact of a massive influx of Syrian refugees. Today, Syrian refugees account for over 25 percent of the population of Lebanon and 10 percent in Jordan, placing immense pressure on over-stretched resources. Most of the low-income refugees rely on informal financial services and, similarly to poor people in their host countries, one of the biggest financial challenges they face is coping with health shocks. CGAP has examined policy solutions to link humanitarian cash transfers to financial inclusion, and more broadly for increasing their resilience and helping them build sustainable livelihoods.
FINDEV GATEWAY PUBLICATION APRIL 2019
This report puts particular emphasis on how households manage their income and expenses and how they cope with external shocks such as illness, accidents or loss of/damage to assets.
FINDEV GATEWAY PUBLICATION APRIL 2018
Graduation is a good way of sequencing humanitarian and development approaches.
EVENT FEBRUARY 2019
Based on analytical work conducted mostly in Lebanon and Jordan, the World Bank Group and CGAP hosted a workshop to discuss insights, evidence, and potential programming surrounding financial services for crisis-affected populations.
FDPs face barriers in accessing formal financial services often due to policy restrictions, ranging from lack of proper identification documents to too few access points to banking or mobile money. They also can face restrictions on their ability to enter local labor markets to make a living. Understanding the unique set of challenges they face is essential to overcoming obstacles that prevent broader economic and social participation.
EXTERNAL PUBLICATION DECEMBER 2019
We Build Bridges: Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Persons
This publication builds on G20 recommendations and offers a roadmap with specific actions that governments, the private sector and development agencies can take to include the record numbers of FDPs in the formal financial system and provide pathways toward new livelihoods.
WORKSHOP REPORT SEPTEMBER 2018
In this workshop consensus was reached as to ‘why’ financial inclusion is important in humanitarian contexts and for FDPs in particular.
GPFI PUBLICATION NOVEMBER 2017
This G20 roadmap recommends three areas for policy action – improved global coordination, better data and evidence collection, and embedding FDP-inclusive policies in government responses.
This Topic Hub offers access to key resources contributed by organizations around the world who work on the topic of financial inclusion and microfinance services for refugees.
EXTERNAL PUBLICATION DECEMBER 2018
This UN Better Than Cash Alliance’s Cash Digitization Study recommends strengthening cash assistance collaboration across UN agencies & partners, to improve coordination and harmonization.
CGAP BLOG SERIES 2015-2016
Many donors and investors focusing on financial inclusion in the Arab World are considering how to adjust or adapt their work given the level of crisis in the region. This blog series share insights from organizations working in this situation, who are documenting what they have learned.
The Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement aims to enhance the ability of stakeholders to make timely and evidence-informed decisions that can improve the lives of affected people.