Emerging Lessons from World Bank Group Investments in Social Protection in Refugee Hosting Areas, August 2021 – Global


The Regional Sub-Window (RSW) for Refugees and Host Communities has been introduced as a dedicated funding instrument to support low-income refugee hosting countries under the 18th Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA18), with $2 billion for IDA countries hosting refugees. refugees from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020. At the end of the replenishment cycle, 14 countries had received funding for relevant projects.i Of these, 9 countries are strengthening refugees’ access to government protection programs in host countries through 10 projects with an overall budget of $626 million through the RSW, representing approximately 31% of the sub-window’s total budget. Dedicated financing for IDA countries hosting refugees continued under the 19th IDA replenishment through the Host Communities and Refugees window.

Based on a review of these 10 projects by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), including analysis of the agency’s involvement in these projects to date, this brief presents the Emerging lessons on refugee inclusion and the speed and impact of technical support at key stages of the World Bank Group (WBG) project cycle can maximize project benefits for displaced populations. These emerging lessons are presented for the attention of the WBG, governments and other actors working to expand social protection coverage and related COVID-19 responses in areas hosting displaced populations. Going forward, three areas are envisioned to further maximize the benefits of the projects:

I. Data analysis, support for the inclusion of refugees in social registers, targeting and impact monitoring processes;

ii. Knowledge management and capacity building, supporting the adaptation of project design methodologies and referral processes to the context-specific needs of displaced populations;

iii. Joint research, including adaptive social assistance responses to large-scale displacement, processes facilitating the transition of refugees from assistance to government social protection systems, and predictable funding for long-term inclusion that includes l harnessing the capacity of refugees to contribute to benefits.

Joel C. Hicks