OFID – the OPEC Fund for International Development – yesterday hosted a roundtable at its Vienna headquarters to discuss policy options to address the interrelated challenges of development and displacement.
Working in partnership with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), OFID gathered key stakeholders from governmental institutions in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, international organizations and the donor community to focus on the development-displacement nexus. Stakeholders engaged on their needs as host countries of refugees and other displaced populations, and discussed how these needs can better align with protection-oriented policies directed toward refugee populations and host communities.
This roundtable and its results will feed into an ICMPD study Bridging refugee protection and development, which is co-funded by OFID. The study’s main goal is to enhance knowledge about the potential of protection-oriented policies to support durable solutions and resilience-based development. Ultimately, the study aims to propose viable policy options to address the development-displacement nexus.
OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish emphasised the negative effect displacement has on development, affecting poverty reduction, economic growth, human and social welfare, and environmental sustainability. He explained that OFID has committed considerable resources to “addressing the underlying socioeconomic factors of conflict and crisis, in addition to supporting operations aimed at tackling fragility and poverty – while in parallel supporting the development of comprehensive policy and institutional frameworks for displacement.”
ICMPD’s Director-General Dr Michael Spindelegger highlighted the added value such development approaches can have on ensuring that the protection needs of refugees and other displaced populations are met, and the important role the international community must play in ensuring durable solutions: “We all have to work toward enhancing the pathways to protection and resettlement. But we also need to step up the support for the main refugee hosting countries and – this ‘and’ is the important one – to work on creating perspectives for refugees in those countries.”
The roundtable event was held on the sidelines of ICMPD’s 3rd Vienna Migration Conference – co-sponsored by OFID – on October 18-19 at the Aula of Sciences in Austria’s capital city. The title of this year’s conference was: From Crisis Management to Future Governance.