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October 7, 2016 in Center for Financial Inclusion, Client Focus, Financial Inclusion, Microfinance, Policy | Tags: Al Majmoua, Financial Inclusion of Refugees Blog Series, Lebanon, Refugees, Social Performance Task Force, United Nations High Commission for Refugees | by Center for Financial Inclusion | Leave a comment
> Posted by the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF)
Overview of refugee populations in Lebanon
The multi-cultural and open economy of Lebanon is no stranger to the need to accommodate refugees. Over the years, Lebanon, which has a population of roughly 6 million, has generously maintained an open border policy and has, until restrictions were introduced in 2014-15 following the very large influx of Syrian refugees, permitted refugees to settle temporarily but freely across the country. The country’s experience in providing financial services to these refugees and internally displaced persons offers insights for financial institutions around the world on serving these vulnerable global populations.
Lebanon’s refugee populations are diverse. The largest refugee group is Palestinian, around half of whom live in the 12 recognized Palestine refugee camps. From Iraq, about 50,000 refugees arrived after American-launched military operations in Iraq in 2003. Many of the Iraqi refugees were at one time middle-class professionals who have self-settled in urban areas in Lebanon. Syrians, who have a long history as migrant workers in Lebanon, have never been counted as foreign workers, and many were known to work in Lebanon before the war in Syria. But when civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, an unprecedented number of Syrians emigrated to Lebanon. As of October 2015, close to 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon had registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
September 20, 2016 in Branchless Banking, Center for Financial Inclusion, Client Focus, Financial Inclusion, Microfinance, Policy, Technology | Tags: Azerbaijan, Financial Inclusion of Refugees Blog Series, Kenya, Lebanon, Refugees, Social Performance Task Force, Somalia, Syria, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), United Nations High Commission for Refugees | by Center for Financial Inclusion | 1 comment
> Posted by Daniel Balson, Lead Specialist for Eurasia and MENA, The Smart Campaign
The following is the first post in a four-part blog series on the financial inclusion of refugees and the internally displaced.
The unresolved Syrian conflict and the slow collapse of nation-states on Europe’s periphery have brought the topic of refugees back into the media spotlight. Whereas previously, refugees were often seen as a problem of the Global South, events have now brought migrants to Europe’s doorstop, forcing OECD countries to consider new strategies to provide for and integrate this population. Yet as refugee assistance becomes a hot topic once again, old myths and fictions have reemerged. Refugees are often described as highly transitory populations with few marketable skills who will inevitably rely on long-term government assistance. But these stereotypes are frequently inaccurate.