UNHCR reports that 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement.
In a world where nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution, the work of those attempting to give individuals power over their identities across borders is especially critical.
Ashish Gadnis and Jane Barratt discuss one of the most persistent and sharpest roadblocks faced by millions of people around the world – access to the formal financial system. Building economic identities for those without previous access to banking is a critical step towards a universally inclusive world, in which individuals are empowered to take control over their personal data, gaining a chance to access basic products and services to reach long-term resilience in the face of unexpected hardships.
“If you are trying to make the world a better place, financial inclusion is the key answer. But the definition should be less around giving more aid or more money to keep people poor; it’s more (about) connecting them to the supply chain by empowering them with data.” – Ashish Gadnis