Recognizing that most situations of forced displacement have become protracted, the World Bank Group emphasizes in its Strategy for Fragility, Conflict, and Violence the importance of taking, from the outset, a medium-term development perspective with a view to addressing the socioeconomic needs and aspirations of those forcibly displaced and their host communities.
The 2023 World Development Report (WDR): Migrants, Refugees and Societies provides more explicit guidance on policy actions that:
- encourage refugees’ internal mobility to enable them to move to places with better job opportunities and services;
- promote refugees’ self-reliance by providing predictable and secure terms of stay, right to work, and incentives for the private sector to create jobs;
- deliver services to refugees through national systems; and
- strengthen institutional and financial arrangements.
The WDR calls for progress in countries of origin to address root causes of forced displacement, as well as to support voluntary repatriation and reintegration. And recognizing that few countries provide external financing and resettlement opportunities, the WDR also calls for determined international efforts to strengthen responsibility-sharing.
The 2021 paper A Development Approach to Conflict-Induced Internal Displacement explores how the WBG can ensure that IDPs benefit more from existing development financing through policy dialogue, sector work, and safeguards. Specifically, it does not call for dedicated financing for IDPs and their hosts, and instead it recommends applying an “IDP lens” across the entire WBG portfolio to ensure that these communities do not face discrimination and exclusion in their access to development benefits.
Through its development approach to forced displacement, the Bank:
- complements the emergency relief activities of humanitarian organizations
- focuses on addressing longer-term, social and economic challenges --especially jobs and education-- and on closing gender gaps by empowering women and girls
- benefits both the forcibly displaced and their hosts.
In partnership with UNHCR and other organizations, the Bank works through:
- better data and analytics to inform results-driven strategies
- innovative financing to address the variety of forced displacement situations
- effective operations on the ground
For low-income host countries, the International Development Association (IDA) provides financing through the Window for Host communities and Refugees (WHR) for operations that specifically target these groups. In the IDA18 and IDA19 replenishments, the WBG programmed resources of more than $3.1 billion to this end. Under IDA20 (covering July 2022-June 2025), $2.4 billion has been allocated to promote medium to long-term development opportunities for refugees and their hosts, with emphasis on government policy commitment, resilient and inclusive recovery, social cohesion, and gender equality.
Middle-income countries hosting large numbers of refugees may access funds though the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF), an international partnership launched with the UN and the Islamic Development Bank and managed by the WB that provides concessional financing for development projects that benefit refugees and host communities. So far, the GCFF has provided more than $775 million in grants to unlock $6.2 billion in concessional finance for Jordan, Lebanon, Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Moldova.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is leading efforts to engage the private sector in supporting refugees and hosts. IFC works with the World Bank, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other partners to identify private sector solutions and opportunities for refugees and their host communities. It has four aims: creating jobs by boosting access to finance and entrepreneurship, improving the delivery of basic services like education and energy, encouraging business-friendly policies in refugee-hosting areas, and sharing lessons learned while deepening partnerships.
Data and Analytics
Research at the World Bank Group aims to build the evidence base on addressing the social and economic aspects of forced displacement. Better data and analytics help to inform policies and refine the targeting of development programs that can improve the lives of affected people.
The World Bank-UNHCR Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement seeks to ensure effective, reliable, publicly available data to inform decision-making for both the development and humanitarian communities; and to improve the collection, analysis and public dissemination of household level socioeconomic data on those who are forcibly displaced.
The Building the Evidence on Forced Displacement program finances large multi-country and multi-partner research projects that address questions of global interest related to forced displacement in five strategic thematic areas: jobs, health, education, social protection and gender. The initiative also synthesizes lessons emerging from the entire research program and complements them with additional studies. It has also produced the FCV Data Platform, a collection of more than 1,200 datasets intended to support analytical work on issues related to forced displacement and other aspects of fragility and conflict.
Other World Bank Group analytical work includes:
The World Bank is also part of the Private Sector for Refugees (PS4R) initiative, which seeks to promote employment, entrepreneurship, investment, and services for refugees and host communities by identifying, analyzing, sharing knowledge and expertise, and raising awareness about the many ways companies can engage with refugees around the world.
Last Updated: May 30, 2023