Photo: Muhkjar refugee camp (Photo: UNAMID, cropped.) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Please view our conversation with the book author of The Wealth of Refugees: How Displaced People Can Build Economies.
The Wealth of Refugees draws upon a decade of original qualitative and quantitative research to offer practical solutions.
Focusing on refugees in camps and cities in Africa, it identifies approaches that can be effective in improving the welfare of refugees, increasing social cohesion between refugees and host communities, and reducing the need for onward migration. The book argues that the key lies in unlocking the potential contributions of refugees themselves. They bring skills, talents, and aspirations and can be a benefit rather than a burden to receiving societies. Realizing this potential relies upon moving beyond a purely humanitarian focus to fully include refugees in host country economies, build economic opportunities in refugee-hosting regions, and navigate the ambiguous politics of refugee protection.
Alexander Betts is Director of Refugee Economies Programme at the University of Oxford.
Samuel Bazzi is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Boston University.
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