Kiva announces new World Refugee Fund to support refugee communities
Press Release – June 26, 2017 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time: SAN FRANCISCO–Today Kiva.org, the world’s first and largest crowdfunding platform for social good, announced that it surpassed $1 billion USD in loans supporting borrowers around the world. More than 2.4 million entrepreneurs, farmers and students globally have been able to launch and expand viable businesses or pursue an education thanks to loan support from 1.6 million people, lending just $25 dollars at a time.
Kiva provides financial support to low-income borrowers, enabling individuals from all over the globe who have few other opportunities for financial assistance to receive a critically needed loan. Through lending, Kiva is alleviating poverty and addressing the critical social issues of our time, particularly the refugee crisis, climate change, and gender inequality. Specifically, Kiva has disbursed loans to 2,013,194 women borrowers; 19,082 to borrowers in green and clean energy spaces; and 4,544 to refugee borrowers. Kiva has also expanded to support social enterprises addressing community-wide issues such as access to clean water and sustainable farming.
“Kiva proves that when each of us takes small actions, our collective efforts can transform the world for millions of people in meaningful ways. Kiva started with a simple idea, to provide people with an easy and transparent way to support the people, places and causes they believe in,” said Premal Shah, President and Co-Founder of Kiva. “As we surpass $1 billion in loan support, we are looking at how to push open doors of economic opportunity in new ways. And with our continued growth and commitment to serve the most vulnerable, we are thrilled to announce Kiva’s new World Refugee Fund, providing a way for individuals, corporations and foundations to support refugees and host communities around the world.”
Recently on World Refugee Day (celebrated globally on June 20), Kiva launched a new World Refugee Fund, a $250K matching fund to be followed by a rotating fund of up to $9M in loan capital to provide support to refugees and host communities in countries including Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. While immediate and urgent humanitarian assistance is important for refugee and displaced communities, the reality is that the average length of displacement is 26 years, according to the United Nations. There is a growing and long-term need among refugees and host communities to access financial services and jobs. Yet, very few traditional financial service providers are serving refugees, leaving them with limited economic mobility and opportunities.
The World Refugee Fund seeks to fill this lending gap and is being developed by Kiva and the Alight Fund, along with founding partners the Tent Foundation and USA for UNHCR. To date, Kiva has crowdfunded $4.3 million in loans to 4,544 refugee borrowers globally.
Visitors to Kiva.org can view stories and profiles of borrowers and choose who they want to support with a loan of $25 or more. Individual loans are collected until the borrower’s full loan request is crowdfunded. The average loan request on Kiva is $450 and Kiva funded borrowers have a 97% repayment rate.
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