The e-MFP Action Group on Advancing Financial Inclusion of Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs) has been created to respond to an increasing interest and need from our members to foster collaboration, cooperation and knowledge sharing among all parties working to provide and/or extend financial services for refugees and FDPs.
Refugees and other forcibly displaced persons as result of conflicts, political crises and increasingly climate change, are among the most vulnerable populations and are a growing reality. According to UNHCR Global Trends Report, at the end of 2022, 108.4 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order; and the number of refugees worldwide increased from 27.1 million in 2021 to 35.3 million at the end of 2022, the largest yearly increase ever recorded. These people experience challenges both on their journeys and on their (expected or unexpected) arrival destination.
From a different perspective, social organisations, including those addressing financial exclusion, find themselves dealing with more and more cross-border and internal displacement situations and need to be prepared to meet the needs of diversified groups of people. For refugees and FDPs, while access to financial services is not the primary need on arrival, it soon becomes crucial to be able to care for basic needs.
Many e-MFP members and their transnational and local partners are aware of their potential role supporting these groups, and how this role fits in their social missions. It is also commonly accepted that only a multi-stakeholder approach can adequately respond to the complexity of the challenges faced by FDPs. With the support of UNHCR, several initiatives have been implemented by e-MFP members and its partners, including the Community of Practice of the Roadmap to the Financial Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Person and Working Group on Business Development Services for migrants and refugees led by the Microfinance Centre (MFC). Aware of this, the e-MFP Secretariat has been increasingly involved in these projects promoting them through our communication channels and events.
The ‘Advancing Financial Inclusion of Refugees and Forcibly Displaced Persons’ Action Group webpage provides information on these different initiatives, links to resources on the topic of financial inclusion for FDPs and to an online platform where e-MFP members and all institutions and individuals working on and interested in the topic can share information, discuss, and exchange experiences.
Join the discussion, bring your experience, and learn from others. Participation in the online platform hosted by UNCDF is open to all upon registration.
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Roadmap Network on Financial Inclusion of FDPs - Community of Practice (CoP)
The Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Persons (FDPs) was published by a multistakeholder alliance during the first Global Refugee Forum in December 2019. It aims to contribute with a set of voluntary policy recommendations and to define roles and responsibilities for implementing this action agenda to expand access to and usage of appropriate financial services for FDPs. The Roadmap brings together and advances a comprehensive set of key actions for relevant stakeholders to consider, while respecting national regulatory frameworks and the sovereign domain of national governments.
To put the Roadmap words into action, in 2022 a Community of Practice (CoP) on the financial inclusion of FDPs was established. The CoP aims to raise awareness on the issue and develop concrete recommendations to inform the international decision-making processes; further strengthen dialogue and synergies between actors from different sectors and locations; and to become a platform for information-sharing and identifying joint solutions.
The CoP is a space where these stakeholders can meet to discuss challenges and propose new ways of working together to address them, in addition to informing policy changes at the local, regional, or global level. For more information, please contact Daphnee Iglesias (email@example.com) or Anneleen Vos (firstname.lastname@example.org).
MFC/e-MFP BDS for migrants and refugees working group
Following Microfinance Centre (MFC)’s several projects offering business development services to migrants and refugees in Europe and building on the long experience of several e-MFP members and partners in developing countries in the provision of financial and non-financial services, including BDS, to forcibly displaced persons (FDPs), MFC and e-MFP established a collaborative group focusing on BDS for migrants and refugees. The group has involved in its activities various stakeholders from MFIs, NGOs, BDS providers, accelerators, public authorities and UN agencies, consultancies and academia. Its primary objective has been to facilitate the exchange of best practices and foster connections among various stakeholders engaged in BDS for migrants and refugees across the world.
During 2023, three workshops with group members and invited external experts were organised discussing, among other topics:
- the main barriers faced by migrant/refugee entrepreneurs and the commonalities and differences among these two groups.
- the features of successful BDS strategies and programmes.
- the relevance of monitoring performance, including cost-effectiveness, and measuring outcomes and impact of microfinance and BDS initiatives targeting migrants and refugees with discussion of potential KPIs for the financial service providers.
- the strategies for engaging and promoting collaboration between different stakeholders in the assumption that only an inclusive approach to financial services and a holistic support system, incorporating non-profit, social enterprises and financial services providers can effectively contribute to the financial and social inclusion of migrants and refugees.
- UNHCR Reports and Publications: https://www.unhcr.org/reports-and-publications
- FinDev Gateway Topic Page on Refugees: https://www.findevgateway.org/topics/refugees
- Roadmap to the Sustainable and Responsible Financial Inclusion of Forcibly Displaced Persons
- Covid-19 and Refugees’ Economic Opportunities, Financial Services and Digital Inclusion
- Swati M. Dhawan blog: https://www.e-mfp.eu/blog/towards-effective-financial-inclusion-refugees-applying-financial-health-framework-displacement
- EMW sessions: