Posted on 20 Jun, 2023 by SEMD Team

A glance at GFA’s work in the Middle East and North Africa

Every year, World Refugee Day on 20 June celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. The Day’s 2023 theme is “hope away from home.” This theme reflects the situation of millions of refugees in the world. In 2022 alone, the Middle East and North Africa region hosted 2.4 million refugees and 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs). As a result, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon – among other countries – face the demands of millions of non-nationals.

This is where the Social Entrepreneurship for Migration andDevelopment (SEMD) project comes in. It is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by GFA Consulting Group in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Its concept is based on social entrepreneurship as a catalyst for social and economic transformation, facilitating economic growth and job creation. The project is fully aligned with the Section on Migration and Forced Displacement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Programme Framework 2022-2025.

The main objective of the project is strengthening the social entrepreneurship environment and acting as a catalyst for the initiation, development and implementation of innovative solutions that benefit migrants, refugees, as well as local communities in the three countries. To this end, GFA experts organized exchange events aiming at improving the coordination and knowledge exchange among social entrepreneurs on the national and regional level. It also mobilized national and international expertise to back social entrepreneurship support structures and enable them to grow their capacities. Moreover, the project provided technical and financial support to social enterprises that positively impact the lives of migrants and refugees, with a particular focus on women, to improve and upscale their operations.

These social enterprises make essential products and services available to migrants, refugees and local communities, e.g. affordable education, skills training, affordable financial solutions, agricultural and green technologies. Over a period of 30 months, the project supported 48 social enterprises across the three countries that had a positive impact on the lives of more than 40,000 beneficiaries, supported more than 23,000 migrants and refugees, and created more than 1,600 job opportunities.