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The Role of the Private Sector in Economic Integration of Refugees

June 11-12, 2019

Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris, France


Public and private stakeholders will gather in Paris on June 11 and 12 to discuss established and new ways of mobilizing expertise, linkages, finance, and resources in support of refugees.

  • The World Bank Group, the European Investment Bank, and the Confederation of Danish Industry are co-hosting this collaborative effort to steer the debate on forced displacement toward a recognition of the extensive contribution that the private sector can make in addressing challenges related to forced displacement.

    The magnitude of the challenge is formidable. Today, more than 68 million people have been forced from their homes worldwide, including 25 million refugees. Almost 85 percent are hosted by low- or middle-income countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Uganda, Turkey, and Bangladesh.

    With half of the world’s refugees staying for more than four years on average in host countries, the international community has moved from a predominant use of humanitarian approaches to an increasing appreciation of development responses. Moreover, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (2016) emphasized the private sector’s role in finding solutions for refugees and host communities.

    The event will focus on four sub-themes: Entrepreneurship, Investment, Employment, and Services & Products.

    The full agenda may be found here (note that the deadline for registration is June 4). 

    The conference will bring together practitioners from the field, investment companies and private sector firms, refugee entrepreneurs, labor market representatives, donors and other development partners, including Multilateral Development Banks, chambers of commerce, and public sector actors. It is anticipated that about 15 countries will be represented. As an outcome document, the partners envision a Charter of Good Practice

    This conference is organized in the context of the Refugee Investment and Matchmaking Platform, launched in September 2018 by the World Bank Group to support refugees and host communities through enterprise and market development. The Platform, piloted in Jordan, seeks to mobilize the private sector in support of refugees and their host communities through several channels and is built around four key pillars: (i) matchmaking, (ii) investment, (iii) policy linkages and institutional development, and (iv) global knowledge, outreach, and advocacy.

    This initiative reflects the World Bank Group’s Maximizing Finance for Development approach to leverage all sources of finance, expertise and solutions to support developing countries’ sustainable growth. The World Bank Group is seeking ways to collaborate with an increasing number of non-traditional development partners, stepping up efforts to support refugees and host communities.