You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Lebanon’ tag.
> Posted by Jeffrey Riecke, Communications Specialist, CFI
If you had to embark on a journey similar to that of the 65 million people who are currently forcibly displaced, what would you bring? Most likely among your provisions would be a smartphone. Phones are the contemporary map and compass, a gateway to critical information, a means for keeping in touch with loved ones, and a financial toolkit. More and more, aid workers are witnessing refugees arriving at camps with smartphones. For both the refugee journey and the post-journey settlement process, a phone can be vital. With this in mind, you might not be surprised to learn that mobile money usage among refugees, including for cash transfers from governments and NGOs, is on the rise.
> Posted by Daniel Balson, Lead Specialist for Eurasia and MENA, the Smart Campaign
This is the fourth and final blog entry in a series exploring how financial services can be leveraged to assist refugee populations. This entry will consider the future of refugee financial services and what our sector can do to ensure that the future is an inclusive one that serves genuine needs and protects refugee rights.
Syrian refugees shop at a market with their bank card given by the Turkish Red Crescent.
It is worth asking whether the financial inclusion sector is at the forefront of the movement to financially include refugees. The humanitarian sector has long struggled to determine how to provide assistance during a crisis in a way that is sustainable, effective, and accountable. Recently, humanitarian organizations such as Oxfam and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have begun considering whether it’s possible to use payments as an on-ramp for financial inclusion of refugees. Cash transfers have historically facilitated corruption and failed to make it into the hands of the people who needed it most. In-kind donations of goods such as tents, food, sleeping material and other items undermined local merchants who made their livelihoods selling these very goods. In response, the sector has begun experimenting with digital financial payments. In Afghanistan, for example, the World Food Program (WFP) has issued e-vouchers and mobile money to cover food aid. The first e-voucher pilot was carried out on a small user base of 603 recipients in Kabul for a three-month disbursement cycle from April to June 2014. The total value of e-vouchers disbursed was US$72,360. The program proved successful and the WFP launched several follow-on pilots across the country in the subsequent year.
> Posted by Center Staff
This latest “Top Picks of the Microfinance Blogosphere” swoops in for a closer look at spurious links between energy drinks and microfinance, examines ways of opening up impact investing to the masses, maps out Lebanese microfinance, and more.
- “Why is it illegal for me to invest even $100 in the business of my choice?” asks a post by Nilima Achwal on the NextBillion blog. “SOCAP11: Breaking Down Barriers to People Powered Capital” dives deep into “the democratization of impact investing.”
- “While the microfinance sector in Lebanon is growing, it is still relatively small in respect to the unmet need throughout the country,” writes Jonathan Bloom in his post “Passport Series: Lebanon: Part 2: Microfinance” on the Kiva.org blog. He takes a look at the big picture of Islamic banking to contextualize his observations about the work taking place on the ground.
- Five young people of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) “interviewed their peers within their countries to solicit views on a number of questions about education, careers, financial services, leadership and entrepreneurship,” Reeta Roy recounts in “Managing Life Transitions” on The MasterCard Foundation blog. The post offers up the pivotal points that go with these peers’ coming of age, as part of efforts to answer the wider question: “How do we prepare young people for a lifetime of transitions?” Read the rest of this entry »