World Bank Announces $2.2 Billion Scale-up in Support for Refugees and Host Communities at First Global Refugee Forum

GENEVA, Up to $2.2 billion will be available for a dedicated window for refugees and host communities over the next three years, the World Bank announced today at the first Global Refugee Forum (GRF). The financing is part of the recently-approved 19th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA19), the World Bank's fund for the poorest, that will run from July 2020 to June 2023.

The World Bank has been scaling up its support to refugees and host communities for several years, in response to the growing global crisis of forced displacement.

The $2.2 billion complements efforts to provide support to refugees and host communities during the IDA18 funding cycle that runs from July 2017 to June 2020. During IDA18, the World Bank tripled its resources for refugees and host communities, which are expected to reach over $3 billion, including a $2 billion dedicated window.

The IDA18 package doubled the three-year funding for countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) to $14 billion and introduced a special funding window to de-risk private investments and simulate job creation in such places.

The World Bank's Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) that provides concessional financing to middle income countries hosting large numbers of refugees has also ramped up its financing. Grants made to middle income countries have doubled over the same period from $160 million to $320 million.

Looking ahead, in addition to the financing for refugees and host communities, the new IDA19 package includes $18.7 billion to support countries affected by FCV. By addressing the underlying drivers of fragility and conflict, the World Bank aims to reduce the factors that can cause people to flee their homes and become refugees. These countries are also expected to receive a large part of a new $2.5 billion funding window to boost the private sector and create jobs, including for both refugees and host communities.

The world currently has more refugees than at any time since World War II. Around 85 percent of the 25.9 million refugees globally are hosted by developing countries, and three quarters of refugees are still displaced after five years. Such long displacements can take a devastating toll on generations of refugees and deeply impact host communities.

The new $2.2 billion Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR) will address the long-term development needs of both populations, complementing the humanitarian response efforts of organizations such as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the organizer of the GRF. Fourteen countries will be eligible for this support. Ten of them have already started implementing projects over the last three years, through a similar allocation under the previous cycle of IDA.

Forced displacement situations are increasingly protracted, with refugees, especially women, often exposed to violence and exploitation, and 'lost generations' of children growing up without building the skills to be productively employed, said Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations. Making long-term investments that address the needs of both refugees and the communities that host them is a critical part of the long-term solution to this growing challenge.

Over the next three years, IDA19 will provide an ecosystem of support to countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence, including by engaging on prevention and resilience in countries of origin. Moreover, the support is designed to complement humanitarian efforts and tackle the medium-term economic and social dimensions of the crisis.

This expanded and deeper support is fully aligned with the World Bank Group's first institutional strategy for Fragility, Conflict and Violence, which is expected to be finalized in early 2020.

Source: The World Bank

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