Late last year, we joined FSD Uganda and BFA Global in Uganda where we are implementing the Financial Inclusion for Refugees Project (FI4R) in Nakivale, Bidi Bidi and Palorinya refugee camps and with urban refugees in Kampala. This project aims to drive the availability of financial services to refugees and host communities. We are also conducting research with the aim of understanding the different sources of income for refugees, the uses of their finances and the financial products and services they use and supporting the development of financial products and services offered by Equity Bank Uganda Limited (EBUL), Vision Fund Uganda (VFU) and Rural Finance Initiative (RUFI) and evaluating the impact of those products and services on refugee livelihoods.
The project kicked off with extensive focus group discussions and individual interviews. It is the first Financial Diaries project with refugees which will not only provide a detailed picture, over the course of a year, of the incomes, expenditures and financial flows of refugee households but also reflect on how financial service providers engage with these households and make a difference to their financial picture.
Here are some of the preliminary discoveries from the initial baseline study.