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The GSMA estimates that more than 80% of refugees worldwide reside in countries where proof of identity is required to register for a mobile SIM card or to open a Mobile Money Account.

Having been forced to flee their homes, refugees often lack the necessary identification credentials (such as a passport or national identity card) to meet “Know Your Customer/Customer Due Diligence” requirements in their country of refuge. This can prevent access to key mobile services in their own name, restricting opportunities for digital and financial inclusion and placing barriers in the way of the efficient delivery of vital humanitarian assistance. Research published by UNHCR in partnership with GSMA in 2019 has highlighted these issues and identified possible solutions.

Listen to UNHCR’s Senior Identity Management Officer, Nicholas Oakeshott, in conversation with the GSMA’s Yiannis Theodorou (Senior Policy and Advocacy Director) discussing how a trusted digital identity for refugees can unlock access mobile and mobile money services in the GSMA’s brand new Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation Podcast Series.