Humanitarian Financing

Financing Forced Displacement


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How can development finance help support the world’s forcibly displaced? By the end of 2017, 68.5 million people had been forcibly displaced worldwide (UNHCR). Official development assistance (ODA) and other types of development finance play a vital role in supporting those who are forcibly displaced and the communities that host them.  ODA helps to provide support for refugees seeking asylum in OECD countries, and plays an even bigger role in developing regions – where 85% of the world’s refugees are hosted (UNHCR). In addition, the right mix of financial tools can help to ensure that proper support reaches all situations of forced displacement, so that no one is left behind on the path toward sustainable development.

Getting it right: using development finance in contexts of forced displacement

This workstream focuses on assessing current development practices in forced displacement contexts, and on defining how development finance can best be used to support forcibly displaced people around the world.

‌Financing refugee-hosting contexts

Official Development Assistance (ODA) plays a key role in ensuring that no one is left behind on the path toward sustainable development – and refugees are no exception. According to UNHCR, 85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries. The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) outlines arrangements for a more predictable and equitable sharing of burdens and responsibilities when it comes to protecting and supporting the world’s refugees. In order to inform how the international community can utilize funding more effectively to meet these responsibilities, it is  essential to consider how ODA is spent in these settings – and to outline priorities to guide donor support and engagement going forward.

Working paper
Financing Refugee-Hosting Contexts: an analysis of the DAC’s contribution to burden- and responsiblity-sharing in supporting refugees and their host communities.

Regions & Countries/Territories: ODA 2015-17 to programmes & projects supporting refugees & their host communities

Top Recipients: ODA 2015-17 to programmes & projects supporting refugees & their host communities

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Financing forced displacement

There are a range of different type of forced displacement, and each context has its own specific set of needs. The right types of financing - the right mix of international, national, public, and private flows - will help to ensure that needs unique to all types of forced displacement are met, and that no one is left behind on the path toward sustainable development. The OECD and UNHCR will continue to work in partnership to support these efforts through forthcoming case studies. (Uganda, Lebanon).

Partnership with UNHCR 

Through its work on Financing Refugee-Hosting Contexts, the OECD has worked in partnership with UNHCR to establish a baseline for monitoring progress toward “funding and effective and efficient use of resources” as one of the key tools for effectiting burden- and responsibility sharing among UN Member States when it comes to supporting the world’s refugees, as outlined by the Global Compact on Refugees.

The OECD will continue to work in partnership with UNHCR in order to harmonize efforts surrounding refugees and development through its forthcoming work on financing forced displacement.


In-donor refugee costs

In 2016, the 30 members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) formed a Temporary Working Group (TWG) on Refugees and Migration with the aim of assessing how in-country costs associated with refugees are reported as Official Development Assistance (ODA), and to work towards better programming guidance.

Under the direction of the Financing for Sustainable Development Division, clarifications to the Statistical Reporting Directives on in-donor country refugee costs have been developed to  improve consistency of reporting across members, and to support the compilation of more accurate and accessible data.

For more information on current work on in-donor refugee costs in ODA see here

Useful Links

Clarifications to the statisitcal reporting directives on in-donor refugee costs
Financing for sustainable development
Addressing Forced Displacement through Development Planning and Co-operation
Towards a global compact on refugees
New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants

Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework

Related OECD Work




Related Documents