Business Fights Poverty


  • Pearson
  • Business Call to Action
  • Mercy Corps
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Innovest Advisory

challenge description

The challenge

There is widespread agreement among humanitarian and development experts that an effective refugee response must not only include emergency relief but also long-term development solutions. This shift is reflected in the draft Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework released by UNHCR early this year, which states “refugees should be included in the communities from the very beginning. When refugees gain access to education and labour markets, they can build their skills and lead a productive life, contributing to local economies and fuelling the development of the communities hosting them.”

The private sector is an essential partner in strengthening refugee economic inclusion and sustainable livelihoods. Finding the right way for companies to collaborate with the array of NGOs, UN agencies, local governments, among others is particularly challenge when it comes to the complex and protracted nature of the situation of many refugees.

This Challenge aimed to strengthen the foundation for effective partnerships to improve refugees’ wellbeing and livelihood opportunities so refugees can thrive, not just survive. It adds to the great work by Tent Foundation and others who are demonstrating the important role companies play in supporting refugees through employment, delivering education, providing access to goods and services, and investing in entrepreneurs.

The output

This Challenge produced action-oriented reports that explore ways to translate aspirations for company involvement in the refugee response into practical realities. In particular, the Challenge looked at how to build effective partnerships that enable and mobilize more companies to help strengthen refugee economic inclusion and resilience.

The Challenge looked more specifically at how models can work in low to middle income countries where most refugees currently reside, and where jobs are already in short supply and infrastructure is already under strain. As part of this, it investigated the enablers or factors that are necessary for business to contribute to the long-term prosperity of refugees.

Download the Reports

The timeframe

6 months to September 2018