Refugees – Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)
Global Refugee Forum – Joint Commitments by the MDB Coordination Platform on Economic Migration and Forced Displacement
On the occasion of the Global Refugee Forum on 17-18 December 2019 in Geneva (Switzerland), we, a group of Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) including the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group, affirm our commitment to work in support of the operationalization of the Global Compact on Refugees by the UNHCR, United Nations Member States, and other relevant stakeholders.
We acknowledge the Global Compact on Refugees as a key enabler and accelerator towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and the importance of the protection mandate of UNHCR.
We recognize the imperative for MDBs to scale up financing for programs and projects that benefit the forcibly displaced and host communities alike.
In line with our different mandates and countries of operation, we wish to highlight MDBs’ ongoing support to countries of origin, transit areas, host communities, and refugees and migrants in refugee-like situations, through targeted financing and policy instruments.
In this context, we work together through a dedicated MDB Coordination Platform on Economic Migration and Forced Displacement, which seeks to foster strategic alignment among MDBs, strengthen operational coordination and knowledge sharing to leverage our synergies and complementarities.
We also work with strategic partners, including UNHCR, on issues of common interest. This includes data monitoring and sharing where possible, as well as across a number of the focus areas identified as critical by the 2019 Global Refugee Forum.
On the occasion of the Forum, we take the opportunity to commit to expanding and deepening cooperation amongst each other, and with member countries, and relevant specialized organizations, notably the UNHCR, as well as civil society and the private sector, to maximize our collective development impact.
In this context, MDBs reaffirm their commitment to:
:: Step up their work together and individually through a range of financing and policy instruments in accordance with each organization’s investment and financing criteria and requirements.
:: Coordinate with each other and with core stakeholders on key issues on the ground in order to build on existing initiatives, better enable shorter lead times, and deliver better outcomes for host communities and vulnerable populations.
:: In large-scale and rapidly evolving contexts, provide rapid financing through dedicated financial instruments or sources that can help alleviate the strain on public services in host countries, and support livelihoods, inclusiveness and resilience for all. Examples of these financing instruments and sources include AfDB’s Transition Support Facility, the AsDB’s Emergency Assistance Loan Instrument, the EBRD’s Refugee Response Plan, the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative, IDB’s Grant Facility to support countries with large and sudden intraregional migration inflows, IsDB through matching funds mechanisms and other channels, the World Bank IDA18 Sub-window for Refugees and Host Communities and the World Bank-administered Global Concessional Financing Facility, among others.
:: Promote and support the essential contribution of the private sector – inter alia through MDBs playing a facilitating role – in enhancing private sector participation in sustainable skills development and employment opportunities, SME and entrepreneurship support, as well as economic and social infrastructure and provision of essential services for host communities and target groups, including women and youth.
As part of these commitments, MDBs will follow principles of good practice that recognize the specific needs of vulnerable populations:
:: Tailor interventions to the specific country situations and regional dimensions in which MDBs are working.
:: Leverage and adapt existing programming and expertise to enable shorter lead times in deploying effective responses.
:: Align with good international practice, including on refugee protection, when developing programming that supports access to essential services and decent employment.
:: Foster inclusive approaches that benefit both host communities and target groups alike, with particular emphasis on interventions that strengthen resilience and social cohesion.
:: Consider the capacity and capabilities of partners at the regional, national and local level, and, where needed, provide targeted technical assistance to boost capacity.
:: Refine and strengthen incentives for private sector participation, including through risk mitigation, blended instruments and political risk insurance.
:: Measure and share information where possible on the impact of interventions to scale up and replicate the most effective programs in other areas of need, while ensuring that further interventions remain responsive to the new circumstances.
:: Continuously review and strengthen MDB staff expertise and capacity to ensure that programming appropriately considers the specific needs of host communities and vulnerable populations.
To support the above work, the MDB Coordination Platform on Economic Migration and Forced Displacement is working towards establishing streamlined mechanisms to facilitate cross-MDB knowledge sharing and operational exchanges including via an online community of practice, a series of papers on good practices, and focused workshops.
We look forward to taking stock of progress and sharing lessons learned at the next gathering of all stakeholders devoted to bringing the Global Compact on Refugees to life.