The ongoing refugee crisis is unprecedented in scale and affecting people and places far from the scene of civil war and conflict. For years, most of the response to this crisis was entirely shouldered by a handful of countries and by humanitarian workers who risked their lives every day to confront an emergency that shows no sign of abating, and could last a generation or more.
And with the number of people fleeing their homes growing, it underscores the great need to find new solutions to help refugees and people in countries torn apart by conflict. For far too long, humanitarian and development groups have not worked together, but the situation today demands that we do so — immediately.
In particular, development organizations such as the World Bank Group can bring much greater levels of financing as well as experts who know how to put children in school and create jobs for refugees as well as people living in the host countries. Working with humanitarian actors and with countries hosting refugees, [World Bank is] developing financing with long-term, extremely low-interest loans that can support development projects at the appropriate scale.
The World Bank Group and six other multilateral development banks have agreed to collaborate more closely on creating jobs, increasing financing, analyzing the root causes of fragility and violence, and helping the Middle East and North Africa region recover once conflict ends.
Last year, the Bank Group developed a financing facility for the Middle East and North Africa, the goal in the next five years is to raise $1 billion in funding and turn that into $3 to $4 billion in long-term, very low-interest financing. Recently, the European Union joined eight nations pledging more than $1 billion in grants, loans, and guarantees to this fund supporting Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as recovery and reconstruction across the region.
[The plan is] to provide resources to low- and middle-income countries hosting refugees across the world, to be launched in September at the UN General Assembly.