Refugee lens investing arrives
In June, the Refugee Investment Network launched an impact investing and blended finance collaborative connecting investors with refugee ventures.
In the past two to three years, more initiatives have emerged to connect finance with refugees.
“The humanitarian response system is important work for providing basic necessities for survival, but everyone engaged recognizes it is not sustainable,” says founder of the Refugee Investment Network (RIN) John Kluge.
There are more than 70 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced, and climate change is expected to lead to another 300 million in the next decade. Displacement length has increased: many individuals and families spend 17 to 26 years away from their homes. There is, therefore, a need to rethink how to support integration in a formal economy.
“Right now, displaced people are often not allowed to participate and so don’t – they have to rely on aid. Or they are participating in grey or black markets which are insecure and dangerous,” says Kluge.
He adds that there is now enough supply and demand interest to create momentum around refugee and migration investing. Indeed, there are several projects under way or planned. Kiva, the world’s largest crowdfunded micro-lending platform is looking to close their Kiva Refugee Investment Fund later this year.