New York, NY, April 19, 2017 — The world’s 21 million refugees spend on average 10 years away from their homes; the vast-majority (88 percent) seek refuge in developing countries. Most are still living in poverty, unable to work, struggling to afford healthcare, rent and send their children to school. Short-term humanitarian response is no longer enough.
A high-level group of experts led by the Center for Global Development and the International Rescue Committee is responding to this reality with a new report that outlines new policy recommendations designed to bridge the humanitarian-development divide, so refugees can become self sufficient and contribute to their local economies.
“From Lebanon to Ethiopia to Nigeria, people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes are not getting the help they need to survive, recover and rebuild their lives,” said David Miliband, CEO and President of the International Rescue Committee. “Compacts are a promising way to bring together humanitarian and development tools and resources around collective outcomes—like in education and livelihoods—to achieve meaningful change in the lives of refugees and host community members.”
The report details how different partners — host governments, humanitarian organizations, development agencies, the private sector, civil society — can work together through innovative agreements called compacts, to give refugees and host communities a chance to thrive together. In 2016, compact agreements brought together the governments of Jordan and Lebanon, the World Bank, and other actors to improve refugees’ economic and educational opportunities. By reviewing lessons learned and offering practical recommendations, this report explains how to replicate those models and design effective compacts in other refugee situations.
“The world is starting to understand that the nature of refugee crises has changed,” said Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development. “The burdens on those who have fled as well as the communities where they seek refuge are greater and more protracted. The policy recommendations in this report can help support the needs of both refugees and their host communities in the short, medium, and long term—a necessary framework for today’s refugee reality.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.
The Center for Global Development is an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit think tank that works to reduce global poverty and inequality through rigorous research and policy innovation. Learn more at www.cgdev.org.