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Banks can help to alleviate the refugee crisis

Humanitarian crises are emerging market issues and local banks are the best way to distribute aid. Banks should make it easier and cheaper to get funds to them.


According to recent data compiled by the UNHCR, there are 40 million internally displaced people in the world. Add to this another 25.4 million refugees and 3.1 million asylum seekers and that makes 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide.

Some 85% of the world's displaced population are in developing countries. Of those categorized as refugees, 57% come from three countries – South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. The top refugee hosting countries change frequently, but the top two countries are usually Turkey and Uganda.

Turkey is the gateway to Europe for many refugees fleeing conflict in the Middle East and north Africa. Uganda is generally considered a safe haven for refugees in east Africa escaping strife in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and even countries in the region that are considered safe such as Kenya and Rwanda.

Looking at recent humanitarian aid flows, the largest recipients are Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Palestine and South Sudan.

This is clearly an issue that affects emerging markets more than developed ones.