The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis

David Miliband | @nybooks In July 1941, Albert Einstein, ten months a US citizen, wrote Eleanor Roosevelt from his Saranac Lake retreat to register “deep concern” at the policies of her husband’s administration. A “wall of bureaucratic measures” erected by the State Department Read More

A refugee’s journey from one misery to the next

Mireille Girard | The Daily Star Ghassan and his family arrived in May 2011, soon after Syria started making headlines. Like many Syrian refugees at the time, they trickled from southern Homs right across the border into Wadi Khaled and were initially sheltered by Lebanese friends and acquaintances, believing they would return to their homes in a matter of months. Read More

$300 million to Improve Employment Opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian Refugees

WASHINGTON A US$300 million World Bank Group program will support Jordan’s efforts to improve the investment climate, attract investors, reform the country’s labor market and grant access to the Syrian labor force to contribute to Jordan’s economic growth. The Economic Opportunities for Jordanians and Syrian Refugees Program, approved by the Bank Group’s Board of Directors today, will support trade facilitation and investment promotion especially in existing special economic zones and foster Jordanian and Syrian entrepreneurship activities. Read More

High Level Discussion of New Global Facility to Address Refugee Crises in Middle-Income Countries

NEW YORK Tomorrow, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will co-chair a high-level panel discussion on the Global Concessional Financing Facility, a new effort to address refugee crises in middle income countries across the world that U.S. President Barack Obama announced today at the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees. Middle income countries currently host roughly six million refugees worldwide yet struggle to find affordable and sustainable means of coping with the additional costs of hosting large refugee populations. The GCFF will help them secure the needed development financing while also bridging the gap with humanitarian organizations that provide more immediate support. Read More

Concessional Financing Facility Funds Projects to Support Refugees and Host Communities Impacted by the Syrian Crisis

BEIRUT The Concessional Financing Facility (CFF), an international initiative to address the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis, announced the first financing today to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon. Only three months after a pledging session in Washington, DC that raised over US$140 million in initial grant contributions, and US$1 billion pledged in loans that will separately generate further grant contributions, the facility has been made operational, supporting two projects totaling over US$340 million. Read More

International Community Endorses New Initiative to Support Refugees, Host Communities, Recovery and Reconstruction in the Middle East and North Africa

Eight nations and the European Commission today pledged a package of more than US$1 billion — US$141 million in grants, US$1 billion in soft loans, US$500 million in guarantees – to a World Bank-led financing initiative in support of Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as recovery and reconstruction across the region. The package means that the new facility will be able to generate up to US$800 million in concessional loans in the next year. Read More

Investing in a more stable and prosperous Middle East

Conflict has created a regional crisis so severe in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) that it now has global implications. The more than 15 million people displaced, as refugees and internally-displaced persons, by conflicts such as Syria’s have come to represent the highest figure for forced displacement since World War II in the Middle East and Europe. In Lebanon, Syrian refugees add another 25% to the country’s total population of about 4 million; in Jordan, they comprise at least 15% of 6.5 million. Given that both these countries, not rich themselves, are providing a global public service by hosting more than 2 million Syrian refugees between them, it is now of utmost urgency that the whole international community share the responsibility of providing Lebanon and Jordan with the medium- and long-term development support they need to support both refugees and the local communities that host them. International inaction at this juncture could threaten the stability of Jordan and Lebanon, and further, destabilize the region and its neighbors. Read More

Mobilizing Resources to Restore Hope in the Middle East and North Africa Region

The World Bank Group is partnering with the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank Group to develop the New Financing Initiative to Support the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, which aims to provide urgent development support to MENA countries impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis, conflict, and economic instability. The heads of the World Bank Group, the United Nations and the Islamic Development Bank Group are travelling together to the region to rally international support for the New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region, in advance of a high-level pledging conference that will be held in April 2016. Read More