Financial services have a critical role to play in mitigating refugee situations and assisting in a manner that is effective, accountable, and ensures resilience especially for forcibly displaced persons and their host communities in protracted situations. Affordable access to financial services can help refugees cope with negative shocks, reduce exposure to risk, and stimulate economic activity at community levels.
Refugees’ financial needs evolve depending on their displacement phase, human and social capital, and migratory plans or possibilities. Their need and demand for financial services also depend on vulnerabilities (e.g., trauma and/or poor health), the level of integration, human and social capital (e.g., education, marketable skills, and familiarity with the host culture), financial inclusion in their country of origin, and – especially – their income generating capacities and opportunities.
To encourage providers to reach this market segment and ensure the targeted populations are empowered to use the services to better their lives, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) are launching a programme to financially include forcibly displaced people (FDP) and their host communities. The Financial Inclusion of FDPs and Host Communities programme will be implemented over a fiveByear period 2018-2022. This programme was designed under UNCDF’s new strategic framework for 2018-2021 and addresses its Financial Inclusion Practice Area’s priorities for the new planning period.