Our Pledge to Refugee and Displaced Persons

Karen Meyer, Head of the RDP Program of Mastercard Foundation.

Karen Meyer, Head of the Refugees and Displaced Persons Program, Mastercard Foundation

Geneva, December 14, 2023 – With the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva wrapping up this week, here are four things Mastercard Foundation and our partners are doing to ensure that young people who are displaced have better opportunities to succeed:

In 2019, the Foundation committed to reaching Refugees and Displaced Persons (RDPs) Scholars in the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, investing in technical assistance, bridging and entrepreneurship programs, and conducting research. We achieved those objectives and are now striving to enable 25% of all the Foundation’s higher education programs for RDPs. This pledge was made at the 2023 Global Refugee Forum on December 14, 2023.

Our support to Inkomoko, a social enterprise that supports micro and small business owners, has helped reach over 16,000 clients in Rwanda, Kenya, and Ethiopia to receive business training, consulting, and access to finance in 2023 and has successfully scaled to South Sudan where implementation has just started. With Inkomoko’s track record of investing in marginalized communities, the consistent repayment rate of 97 % demonstrates that investing in refugee communities is a sustainable approach to economic development.

We have partnered with the Amahoro Coalition to establish an African-led, multi-sector initiative to accelerate private-sector interventions and economic inclusion for African-displaced populations. In November 2023, Amaharo Coalition, Inkomoko and UNHCR hosted the Africa Forum on Displacement: Private Sector Solutions in Accra, Ghana, bringing together various African stakeholders to identify impact-based contributions to the displacement crisis on the continent, generating over 40 Private sector pledges so far.

The Global Refugee Forum 2023 Speakers and Attendees

The Global Refugee Forum 2023 Attendees.

We recently co-created a new program with the African Higher Education in Emergencies Network (AHEEN) to support RDP students, including teachers, in gaining access to accredited higher education. AHEEN will also provide capacity support to host governments; it will include a rapid response mechanism so recently displaced students may enter the AHEEN network from their new location, and the network will work together towards recognition of prior learning and credential sharing.

Did You Know: The Mastercard Foundation is one of the largest investors in refugee higher education. As part of the joint objectives outlined by the Global Compact, the Foundation has been contributing to the “15by30” multistakeholder pledge to expand refugee access to higher education to 15% enrollment by 2030.

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