Tag Archives: micro-finance

New approaches to urban refugee livelihoods

By Dale Buscher, Senior Programme Director, Women’s Refugee Commission

As the growth in urban refugee numbers far out-strips a parallel growth in humanitarian financial assistance and as the average length of displacement is now 17 years, feeding and providing direct services to these populations is no longer a viable option. Their ability to provide for themselves not only enhances their protection by reducing, for example their need to trade sex for food, but, allows urban refugees to address their own needs without substantive further assistance from the humanitarian community.

Not only could economic opportunities restore some of the refugees’ dignity, allowing them to make decisions about their expenditures and choices, promoting these opportunities would also allow humanitarian assistance to be used more effectively and sustainably—supporting local economic development or improving government health and education facilities rather than utilizing donor dollars to support food aid and refugee subsistence allowance.

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