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Application deadline for new refugee-led innovation fund is fast approaching

The latest round of the UNHCR’s Refugee-led Innovation Fund is open to refugee-led organizations (RLOs) worldwide until 31 May.

Speaking about the fund to Innovators Magazine in 2023, Erika Pérez Iglesias, who leads the Refugee-led Innovation Fund, said: “UNHCR’s Refugee-led Innovation Fund proposes a fundamental shift in the way humanitarian and development programming gets designed and delivered, ensuring forcibly displaced and stateless people take centre stage in the decisions affecting their lives.”

Selected RLOs will receive up to $45k in funding – but the relationships go far deeper than that.

“It’s not just funding: it’s also project management support, technical expertise, and peer-to-peer networking,” added Erika. “And it focuses very specifically on innovative projects – ones that are using new tools or approaches in new ways or new contexts to bring value to people forced to flee.”

Cécile Pango, who leads an RLO called Women for Action – a previous awardee that operates in Malawi’s Dzaleka refugee camp, told us that collaborating with the fund worked well.

“They are flexible, the Refugee-led Innovation Fund, it does not put pressure on us so we are not stressed. Instead it stresses what you have done well and does not blame your faults. Therefore, we can take time to reflect and make minimal errors.”

Applications for the current round close on 31 May 2024 at 23:59 Panama time.

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Written By

Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.

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