World Bank Global Program on Forced Displacement GPFD

A record 65.4 million people are displaced due to armed conflict and persecution. Many of them have been displaced for more than a decade, necessitating a development approach to make them more self-reliable. The Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD) has been the agenda-setter on this issue in the World Bank. Through its role as the custodian of expertise, it contributes to foster long-term development solutions for the displaced and to make this a priority issue for the Bank.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Forced displacement (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
01.07.2017 - 30.06.2020
CHF  750’000
Background The current forced displacement crisis concerns primarily developing countries, which host 89 percent of refugees and 99 percent of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). To make things worse, they are mostly in some of the most unstable regions in the world. The humanitarian system alone is unable to deal with a record caseload of 65.4 million people, who remain displaced for an average period of 17 years (UNHCR, 2016). As a result, this has also become an important development issue. The World Bank, together with UNHCR and others, has increasingly gotten engaged in addressing forced displacement as a development challenge. Within the World Bank, the Global Program on Forced Displacement (GPFD) plays a leading role in analytics and facilitating concrete solutions. It is now assisting Country Management Units (CMU) in setting up new large programs under IDA18 to help mainstream the forced displacement agenda in all of the Banks’ relevant interventions.
Objectives The World Bank successfully scaled-up and fostered sustainable solutions for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through increased collaboration between humanitarian aid and development cooperation.
Target groups

External: Governments, UN organizations including within the humanitarian community, civil society, the private sector, academia

Internal: World Bank decision makers (Global Practices, Regional Units, Senior Management)

Medium-term outcomes
  1. Operational support: Strengthen the World Bank and other partners’ development responses for displaced persons.
  2. Enhance synergies and partnerships with governments, multilateral organizations, donors, academic institutions, and NGOs to ensure a coherent response to forced displacement.
  3. Strengthen evidence base and knowledge management particularly on sustainable solutions for the forcibly displaced.

Expected results:  

  • GPFD country visits and remote support to provide technical advice to governments and CMUs;
  • Quality eligibility notes for the IDA18 window for refugees and their hosts as part of the mainstreaming of forced displacement into WB strategies;
  • Trainings on various aspects of long-term forced displacement;
  • Further increase the evidence base, e.g. by integrating micro-data on the profile of persons of concern, inform durable solutions for IDPs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Results from previous phases:  

  • Creation of evidence base, including the landmark WB-UNHCR study “Forcibly Displaced – Toward a development approach supporting refugees, the internally displaced, and their hosts”;
  • Technical support to new large programs established in the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes, and the Sahel;
  • Example Tanzania: Assist the government in the integration of 200’000 long-term refugees from Burundi. Contribution to government-led plan to address issues, such as new settlements, where they have more livelihood opportunities;
  • Successful awareness-raising for the introduction of a specific USD 2bn regional funding window for refugees and their hosts during the IDA18 replenishment;
  • Less successful awareness-raising within the World Bank on IDPs and returnees (to be improved).

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Humanitarian aid
Project partners Contract partner
International Financial Institution (IFI)
  • World Bank - International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Coordination with other projects and actors
  • Swiss Humanitarian Aid and its partners working on forced displacement, especially UNHCR;
  • Swiss bi-lateral South Cooperation with its focus on addressing root causes of fragility, conflict and violence;
  • Other Swiss initiatives and financial support, such as the UN-World Bank Fragility and Conflict Partnership Trust Fund, UN Global Compact, Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), etc.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    750’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    750’000