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Kiva fund will give refugees access to loans

The micro-lending platform’s latest fund is making more than $9 million available for borrowing by refugees and host countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.

There are 22.5 million refugees spread around the world; five million from the crisis in Syria.

“Beyond direct relief, there needs to be financial opportunities to help refugees assimilate and support themselves, and to lessen the impact they have on host communities,” says Premal Shah, Kiva’s CEO.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees found that helping refugees resettle in host countries pays off in economic progress and education. Traditional lenders consider refugees high-risk because of their transience and lack of documentation and assets.

Kiva’s World Refugee Fund will make loans via crowd-sourced investments and funding from corporations and foundations.

Kiva recently hit $1 billion in lending for underserved populations.

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