Leveraging Blockchain to Enable Refugee Employment and Livelihood Programs

Most refugee situations are not resolved quickly. Instead, they become protracted, stretching over years or even decades, often without a clear end in sight. Of the 65.3 million forcibly displaced people worldwide—some 21 million of whom were refugees as of 2016—more than 40% are in situations that have become protracted (ongoing for five years or more). Because of this, it has become more important than ever to find ways to better integrate refugees into countries of first asylum, particularly by ensuring they have access to livelihoods and economic opportunities.

UNHCR - Figures at a Glance

Livelihood programs and interventions have typically been designed and implemented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), often in collaboration with international humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Yet, despite the surging interest and investment – including at the highest political levels – refugee livelihoods is a relatively new field that must work through a number of growing pains and implementation challenges before it can live up to its potential.

In recent weeks, the Obama administration has become increasingly vocal about the Syrian refugee cr ...

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