IFC UNHCR Joint Initiative - About

About the Joint Initiative

Launched in early 2023, The IFC UNHCR Joint Initiative is a strategic partnership between the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to enable private sector business engagement to accelerate economic opportunities for refugees and host communities. 

The partnership is aligned with the Global Compact on Refugees, which calls for the private sector to promote refugees' self-reliance, local economic development, and improved access to services. The Joint Initiative leverages IFC's expertise in fostering private investment and market creation, and UNHCR's international protection mandate to safeguard rights and build a better future for forcibly displaced individuals. The Joint Initiative promotes collaboration with various stakeholders, including but not limited to UN agencies, development agencies, governments, the international community, and the private sector.

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International Finance Corporation

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has more than 60 years of experience in unlocking private investment and creating markets and opportunities where they are needed most.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution and leads international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.


The leadership of the Joint Initiative is composed of the Head of the Joint Initiative, an IFC manager with extensive experience in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, and a Deputy Head, a UNHCR manager with a sound knowledge of the UNHCR Protection and Solutions Mandate in various contexts. The Joint Initiative is governed by a Management Committee providing strategic direction to the Joint Initiative and approves its strategies, staffing, work plan and overall budget. The management committee comprises senior representatives from IFC and UNHCR who meet quarterly. It is co-chaired by IFC’s Vice President for Corporate Support and UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operations.

Michel M. Botzung - Head of the Joint Initiative

Michel has worked in IFC for 20 years, holding field positions in North Africa, the Middle East, India, and Kenya. He previously served as the FCS (Fragile and Conflict Situations) Manager for Africa, contributing to IFC's business growth in challenging markets and leading engagements in the forced displacement space, notably in Kenya's Kakuma area.

Ferdila Ouattara-Uche - Deputy Head of the Joint Initiative

Ferdila is a Human Rights Practitioner advocating for the rights of forcibly displaced people. She has engaged with governments, civil society, and development agencies to prioritize the forced displacement agenda, primarily in countries such as the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo.

Ricardo García Tafur - Snr Operations Officer

Ricardo is an economist with more than 25 years of global experience in International Development, focusing on financial inclusion and providing financial services to underserved populations, including forcibly displaced populations. His work has spanned regions including Latin America, the Caribbean, East Asia, the Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Veronika Burget - Snr Partnerships Officer

Veronika oversees fundraising with government and private sector donors as well as the mobilization of partners to support the JI strategically. Veronika has 20 years of experience in humanitarian affairs, development cooperation, the private sector and academia. Having worked in HQs and the field in Europe, the US, the Middle East and the Balkans, Veronika has extensive experience in advocacy, fundraising, partnership work as well as program design and grant making.

Development partners

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The Joint Initiative is funded by the Kingdom of Denmark, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United States of America.