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UNHCR and AVPN to enhance innovative financing solutions for displaced communities across Asia and the Pacific

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UNHCR and AVPN to enhance innovative financing solutions for displaced communities across Asia and the Pacific

Collaboration to focus on building resilience, supporting sustainable livelihoods and addressing climate challenges.
25 April 2024
Mukhtiyar and her four-year-old daughter live a tent in Photto Moshi village of Dadu district, Sindh province, Pakistan.

Mukhtiyar and her four-year-old daughter live a tent in Photto Moshi village of Dadu district, Sindh province, Pakistan, where women and girls are in critical need of support following the 2022 floods that displaced some 7.9 million people across the country.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES– UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and AVPN today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the AVPN Global Conference 2024 to explore how innovative finance can be used to promote resilience and improve prospects for forcibly displaced communities in Asia and the Pacific. The announcement was led by Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, and Moutushi Sengupta, Chief of Capital Mobilization, AVPN.

The AVPN Global Conference’s theme for this year is ‘One Asia, One Future’ and included prominent speakers such as Naina Subberwal Batra (CEO of AVPN), Patsian Low (Head of Inclusive Impact and Sustainability, APAC, Visa), Robert Rosen (Director, Philanthropic Partnerships, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), H.E. Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno (Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Republic of Indonesia) and many more.

According to UNHCR's 2023 Global Trends Report, an estimated 108.4 million people were forcibly displaced globally at the end of 2022. In the Asia-Pacific region, millions of people have fled conflict and persecution, and have been affected by natural disasters. The vast majority of those who have fled are hosted in neighboring countries, placing a significant strain on resources. UNHCR is working to find solutions that will allow people forced to flee to rebuild their lives and contribute to their communities.

“AVPN is looking forward to actively engaging in the development of innovative financial mechanisms and creative approaches for financing projects that effectively contribute to the wellbeing of displaced communities across Asia-Pacific,” said Moutushi Sengupta, Chief of Capital Mobilisation, AVPN. “We will also provide tools and support to supplement UNHCR’s research and data analysis for outreach to partners, to raise awareness of the plight of refugees and achieve the best results for these communities, and the environment, as possible.”

Bringing together investors, philanthropists, corporates, entrepreneurs and researchers from around the world, the AVPN Conference hosted 1,500 delegates over three days. Plenary and workshop sessions discussed pressing topics such as scaling up blended finance and accelerating collaboration for a climate resilient future, and the role of investors in driving the net zero transition.

“We are delighted to join forces with AVPN to explore new ways to scale up our work in Asia and the Pacific,” said Christian Schaake, Chief of UNHCR Private Sector Partnerships in Asia. “Innovative finance has the potential to be life changing for people forced to flee, and we believe that AVPN’s expertise and network will be invaluable in helping us develop and implement new and sustainable solutions.”

Innovative finance refers to financial arrangements to support UNHCR’s mission that are not traditional donor-funded grants. These innovative financing mechanisms can include investments, impact bonds, swaps, guarantees, blended finance and other vehicles, depending on the specific priority being supported. UNHCR's Innovative Financing Unit was established in 2019 to explore and implement new financing models that go beyond traditional donor-based humanitarian assistance.

Innovative financing intends to help UNHCR close the funding gap through a range of mechanisms aimed at generating financing for humanitarian aims from capital markets, leveraging and supplementing the grants from governments, foundations, corporations and individuals that currently provide most resources for humanitarian response.

Innovative financing can also help humanitarian organizations diversify their funding base and, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees, bring in a wider range of stakeholders and their financial and other capabilities to support displaced people and host communities.


About AVPN

AVPN is the largest network of social investors in Asia, comprising over 600 funders and resource providers across 33 markets. AVPN’s mission is to increase the flow and effectiveness of financial, human, and intellectual capital in Asia by enabling members to channel resources towards impact. As an ecosystem builder, AVPN enables its members to connect, learn, act, and lead across key pillars and improve the effectiveness of deployed capital, bringing local field needs, regional expertise, and policy insights to the forefront. For more information about AVPN , please visit the website and read the latest Annual Review 2022/23.


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee because of conflict and persecution. The organization delivers life-saving assistance including shelter, food and water, helps to safeguard fundamental human rights and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted nationality.

For more information, please contact:

  • Jemma Galvin, Private Sector Communication Officer, UNHCR Asia and the Pacific: [email protected]