RefugeeWG photo by Lene Hansen edited            ToT in Brussels AG leading panel discussion final             
Photo credit: Lene Hansen, Syrian refugee clients of Al                                Amelia Greenberg leads a Training of Trainers in Brussels, Belgium.
Majmoua displaying their handicrafts in Aley branch, Lebanon.

The SPTF, in partnership with the Livelihoods Unit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is working to increase access to microfinance for refugees.

Case study

Read a case study on Al Majmoua, Lebanon: Serving Refugee Populations in Lebanon - Lessons Learned from a New Frontier


SPTF worked with independent consultant Lene Hansen to write guidelines for financial service providers on extending their services to refugees. This resource, called "Serving Refugee Populations: The Next Financial Inclusion Frontier," is available in English and Arabic. The guidelines present the sector's current understanding of best practices, and are divided into three main sections: 1) Refugees as a potential FSP market segment; 2) A framework for financial inclusion of refugees; and 3) Potential profitability drivers. 


Webinar 1 (March 2017) - Sparkassenstiftung Project on Financial Inclusion of Syrian Refugees in Armenia
Read the brief  

Webinar 2 (May 2017) - PerMicro and Microfinanza Srl share experience on financial inclusion of refugees in Italy

Webinar 3 (July 2017) - Adie and Habitat share findings from a survey on the financiial needs of refugees in Turkey
findings from Adia and Habitat 2017 survey on the financial needs of refugees in Turkey

Training of Trainers

SPTF has developed materials for a two-day training on financial inclusion for refugee populations. Download the PowerPoint presentations for each module of the training here:

 Other Resources

SPTF Working Group on Microfinance for Refugees

Of the approximately 20 million refugees worldwide, only a small percentage have access to financial services. Many financial service providers (FSPs) are currently reluctant to work with refugee populations, for fear of financial loss. Others have had limited success due to limited market-led research to establish a clear business case for sustainable services to refugee clients.

In 2016, the SPTF is producing several knowledge products, in an effort to stimulate interest in and understanding of how to offer financial services to refugees. In addition to the case study and presentation linked above, the SPTF will produce Global Guidelines for FSPs Serving Refugees. These guidelines will aggregate into a single document the sector's current understanding of best practices for working with refugee populations, as well as lessons learned from past experience and suggestions for addressing common obstacles.

Additionally, the SPTF will produce training materials for technical assistance providers who can assist FSPs to sustainably provide financial services to refugee populations in their markets. The guidelines and training materials will be aimed at creating interest among FSPs in working with refugee populations, dispelling misconceptions about the characteristics of these populations, and encouraging the adaptation of delivery mechanisms and services that meet the specific needs of refugees.

Independent consultant Lene Hansen is leading this project. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have suggested resources or FSPs that Lene should consult.