Many refugees are displaced from their homes for years. They might live in refugee camps for decades. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners support microfinancing efforts. Through small loans, refugees are empowered to maintain businesses and trading efforts, thus building up their long-term security.
The UNHCR writes:
The difficulty of finding access to legitimate, non-exploitative sources of income is one of the most serious obstacles faced by refugees and displaced people. However, refugees and displaced people should no to be treated as passive recipients of humanitarian assistance. With the right tools and opportunities, they have the skills and resources to contribute to their own development. People with an entrepreneurial spirit can create employment for themselves and for others…
Microfinance is another way in which humanitarian agencies can provide direct assistance for income generating activities in the short–term. Since microfinance aims at both a short–term and a long–term impact, it offers a suitable field for the cooperation between humanitarian and development organizations.
Sources: UNHCR Life in a Refugee Camp on Flickr.