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Removing Barriers to Expand Access to Finance for Refugees

How UNHCR is working to encourage lasting connections between refugees and the financial sector

Micol Pistelli is a financial inclusion expert at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The core essence of financial inclusion lies in its non-discriminatory principle that everyone, everywhere, should have access to essential financial services that are affordable and that meet their needs. When it comes to refugees, however, access to even the most basic financial services, such as opening a bank account, is not legally allowed in some countries and problematic in most others. [...]

UNHCR aims to promote awareness of refugees as a market segment and to encourage lasting linkages between refugee populations and the financial sector. As part of this effort, in 2016, UNHCR partnered with the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) to develop guidelines for financial service providers‎ interested in serving refugees. The guidelines offer an overview of why refugee populations are financially excluded and suggest ways for FSPs to successfully reach and serve this untapped financial market segment. [...]

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Date Published: March 2017
Author: Micol PISTELLI
Publisher: Microfinance Gateway‎