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Window for Host Communities and Refugees

The Window for Host Communities and Refugees (WHR) supports countries that host significant refugee populations to create medium- to long-term development opportunities for both the refugees and their host communities.

This funding recognizes the significant challenge that these countries face in pursuing their own development goals while accommodating refugees, often in areas where local communities themselves lack basic services and resources. 

Under IDA19, the WHR will finance up to $2.2 billion in operations, including a dedicated sub-window of $1 billion for operations that respond to the impacts of COVID-19.

Eligibility

To be eligible for support from the WHR, IDA countries must:

  1. Host at least 25,000 refugees or at least 0.1% of the country’s population;
  2. Adhere to an adequate framework for the protection of refugees; and
  3. Have an action plan or strategy with concrete steps, including possible policy reforms for long-term solutions that benefit refugees and host communities.

IDA countries that were eligible for the Refugee Sub-Window in IDA18 do not need to re-do their eligibility process in IDA19. However, they are required to prepare a short Strategy Note along with the first IDA19 WHR-financed operation that is submitted to the Board.

Programming

The WHR is neutral as to sector and instrument—it supports all kinds of operations in eligible countries that create meaningful longer-term development opportunities for refugees and hosts. A key element of creating these development opportunities involves improving the policy and institutional environment for refugees in the host country, so all projects are expected to demonstrate policy content.

The World Bank is working with governments to prepare and implement projects that deliver sustainable solutions to best meet the often dire and complex needs of these vulnerable groups.

Mid-term review

The WBG committed that by the IDA19 mid-term review, IDA conducts a systematic review of refugee policy and institutional environments in countries eligible for the WHR since their initial eligibility. This technical note aims to present such a methodology and is articulated around three critical elements: (1) which specific policies will be the focus of the review; (2) how the corresponding information will be collected and vetted for quality; and (3) how the results of the review will be presented and reported on.