In a new article for Refugees Deeply, Evan Easton-Calabria and Naohiko Omata report on research they have conducted into the use of micro-finance with refugee populations in the Global South (written about in a recent RSC working paper).
Urban refugees are ideal candidates for micro-finance, as they often do not receive assistance such as food or shelter from UNHCR or NGOs, so they need to be self-reliant. Commonly faced with restrictions on formal employment, their main route to self-sufficiency is to start a small business in the informal market.
But, as Easton-Calabria and Omata write, “very often refugees do not have access to the loan and saving facilities of formal bank and credit institutions”, being perceived as a ‘high-risk’ group or lacking the documentation necessary to open a bank account. However, their research “has found that micro-finance can work with refugee populations if special consideration is taken for the specific needs, skillsets and contexts of refugees.”
Read the article here >>
Micro-finance in refugee contexts: current scholarship and research gaps