SWP Comments, Vol. 14 (May 2017) – Tapping into the Economic Potential of Refugees
Fostering Development through Transitional Social and Economic Integration
Globally, the number of refugees trapped in protracted displacement situations is rapidly growing. For many of them, none of the three traditional durable solutions to refugee crises – return to home communities, resettlement to another place, or permanent local integration – is a realistic option. Therefore, a fourth option must be discussed: fostering temporary social and economic integration as an important step toward rebuilding refugees’ lives. From a development perspective, tapping into the economic potential of refugees during this displacement period can reduce pressure on service provision, reduce fiscal stress, create economic gains for both the displaced and the host communities, and reduce tensions and, thus, the impact of exclusion and the potential for violence. German and European development actors should work on a comprehensive policy framework to support investments in refugee self-reliance that also benefit host communities.