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IFC UNHCR Joint Initiative

Private Sector Solutions in Forced Displacement Contexts

By December 2023, the global number of forcibly displaced individuals surpassed 117.3 million. Over 74 percent of these individuals seek refuge in low- and middle-income countries. 

While humanitarian support is key to saving lives, it doesn’t provide long term solutions. By promoting financial inclusion, tailored services, employment, and entrepreneurship, the private sector can tap into new markets and customer segments among displaced populations and the communities that host them. In alignment with the spirit of the Global Compact on Refugees, the Joint Initiative aims to scale IFC and UNHCR’s efforts to help people who are forcibly displaced to live more dignified lives, while contributing to the development of local economies and markets.

Download the Joint Initiative's Factsheet
© UNHCR/Jeoffrey Guillemard

Our Objectives


Create inclusive economic opportunities

for people affected by forced displacement by designing, funding, and piloting innovative, impactful, and scalable private sector solutions


Establish thought leadership

on private sector development in forced displacement contexts by building a knowledge base of operational lessons and encouraging knowledge exchange among key players in the field.

Leveraging IFC’s private sector expertise and resources and UNHCR’s core mandate and expert knowledge in protection of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons, the Joint Initiative aims to foster sustainable solutions that reinforce self-reliance, socio-economic inclusion, and economic resilience for displaced individuals and their host communities.

World map

Relevant Examples

IFC and UNHCR have been collaborating since 2016, across geographies and across various sectors to improve the lives of those forcibly displaced and their hosts. This interactive map features projects that leverage private sector engagements in forced displacement contexts, including financial inclusion, tailored services, employment, and entrepreneurship.

Business Pulse on Private Sector Engagements in forced displacement contexts

From Host to Growth Communities

Commissioned by the Joint Initiative, the reports encompasses 80 stakeholder interviews, a literature review, and a social listening analysis. The results uncover seven trends in private sector engagement, six prevalent business models, and four roadblocks. These insights are pivotal for shaping future strategies aimed at fostering local economic development in forced displacement contexts, ultimately transforming host communities into growth communities. 

© UNHCR/Charity Nzomo