Refugee Economies: Rethinking Popular Assumptions [Launch event]
Dr Alexander Betts, Louise Bloom, Dr Josiah Kaplan, Dr Naohiko Omata
Friday, 20 June 2014, 1pm to 2pm
Seminar Room 3, Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB
A new report by the Humanitarian Innovation Project, Refugee Economies: Rethinking Popular Assumptions, will be launched to coincide with World Refugee Day, on Friday 20 June 2014. It is one of the very first studies on the economic life of refugees and fundamentally challenges existing models of refugee assistance.
The report is based on participatory, mixed methods research including about 1,600 surveys in Uganda, one of the few refugee-hosting countries in Africa that allows refugees the right to work and freedom of movement. However, it has wider implications for the emerging refugee crises around the world.
Far from being uniformly dependent, refugees are part of complex and vibrant economic systems. They are often entrepreneurial and, if given the opportunity, can help themselves and their communities, as well as contributing to the host economy. The data in the new report challenges five popular myths about refugees’ economic lives:
- that refugees are economically isolated;
- that they are a burden on host states;
- that they are economically homogenous;
- that they are technologically illiterate;
- that they are dependent on humanitarian assistance.