2:00—3:30 PM ET

Innovative Finance to Increase Refugee Resettlement


  • Jeremy Weinstein, Professor of Political Science, Stanford University and Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development (CGD)
  • Jen Smyers, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Immigration and Refugee Program, Church World Service
  • Grant Gordon, Senior Director of Innovation Strategy, International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • Tariq Tarey, Director, Refugee Social Services, Jewish Family Services (Columbus, Ohio) and Documentary Filmmaker
  • Elina Sarkisova, Senior Manager, Resonance


  • Cindy Huang, Vice President for Strategic Outreach, Refugees International and Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development (CGD)

About the Event

Today, 1.4 million refugees urgently await resettlement, and this number is growing. Less than a tenth of these people were due to be resettled in 2020, and COVID-19 will reduce this number even further.

Resettlement is not only good for the refugees who move, but also for the countries they move to. Refugees are more likely to be entrepreneurial, often have higher employment rates than natives, and make a positive fiscal contribution to their new economies. And they fill jobs that natives would be reluctant to accept.

Despite these benefits, many countries are failing to make such commitments. In part, this is because refugees are usually portrayed as a burden to be shared. Framed this way, it is natural for countries to reflect on what they think they can afford, or to look for more cost-effective solutions.

Today, a new CGD Working Group Report, published for World Humanitarian Day, explores the economic calculus behind resettlement and the innovative finance arrangements to address this perception. Such arrangements should be deployed by countries and the private sector to increase refugee resettlement and improve refugees’ quality of life.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit them to [email protected], tweet @CGDev #CGDTalks, or submit your comments via YouTube

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