The size and longevity of many refugee camps across the world are indicative of the permanent rather than transient nature of displaced populations. With more than 65 million people currently displaced from their homes due to political conflict and natural disaster, there is a growing need to find better ways for refugees to achieve self-sufficiency and serve as economic engines in their host countries. However, the financial infrastructure in these communities, particularly in banking, payments and remittances, remains inadequate. With no end in sight to mass displacement, the current approach is neither sustainable nor reflective of our responsibility to these communities.
This report combines the strategic and data-driven research expertise of Mastercard and Western Union to detail the current state of refugee settlement economies and set out a plan to improve financial service delivery.