Kiva’s World Refugee Fund: Providing Displaced Populations with Access to Finance

NetHope's No Lost Generation Tech Task Force

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While refugees seek economic opportunities, most financial institutions, whether local microfinancing organizations or traditional banks, are unwilling to serve refugees because they are perceived as too risky. Since 2016, Kiva has worked to overcome the obstacles preventing refugees from becoming financially included through the launch of the World Refugee Fund.

The WRF is an innovative approach to mobilize individuals from around the world to visit www.kiva.org to lend to refugees, helping them rebuild their lives, whether through starting a small business, paying for critical medical needs, or continuing their education. As loans are raised on the Kiva platform, funds are then transferred to local financial institutions, providing them with the risk-tolerant capital they need to lend to refugees at scale.

Kiva has now funded over $6 million in loans to nearly 8,000 refugees and is excited to share their results, demonstrating that refugees can–and do–repay loans. These lessons are important in enabling systems change and moving refugees from being financially excluded to included.

Key Takeaways for Attendees:

  • How Kiva is enabling economic opportunities for refugees
  • Business case for financial institutions to serve refugees
  • How private sector can support refugee entrepreneurs



Leila Toplic, No Lost Generation Tech Task Force Lead, NetHope



Lev Plaves, Senior Portfolio Manager, Kiva



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