World Refugee Fund: 2018 Impact Report

Lessons learned on lending to refugees and internally displaced persons

Of the more than 65 million people displaced worldwide, less than 5 percent will return home, and those who do spend an average of 17 years in exile. Refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) face disproportionate levels of poverty as well as fundamental difficulties in securing livelihoods as "second class citizens." The provision of economic opportunity is an essential component of a longer-term solution, as access to finance is crucial to helping refugees and IDPs rebuild their lives: whether to start a business, pay for critical medical needs or continue their education.

This inaugural impact report clearly indicates that refugees who have endured unthinkable violence and living conditions are capable of demonstrating the highest possible loan pay-back behavior—repaying financial assistance as quickly and completely as the average global borrower. The findings in the report directly counter the misconception that lending to refugees and internally displaced people is "too risky."

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