Report of the World Commission on Forced Displacement



Brussels, December 7, 2018

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, received the Report of the World Commission on Forced Displacement from H.E. Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria and Joel Bell, Chairman of the Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

There are 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world and many millions more poised to leave their homes in search of safety, security and reasonable living conditions. The Commission, a global group of experienced policy and political figures, with the advice of an international Steering Committee of experts and practitioners, spent the last two years considering the best way to manage this issue.

“We must take concerted action on policies that provide social stability, economic opportunity and political cohesiveness for this forcibly displaced population.” said President Fischer. “We are making recommendations about the treatment of these people, the international sharing of the burdens and responsibilities and the importance of dealing with all categories of the displaced – particularly addressing policies that would create jobs” he added.

The task of creating and growing businesses to employ those forced to flee from their homes – or potentially ready to do so - and in low and middle income locations, exceeds the capacities of the countries housing them. “Commercial businesses provide more than 9 out of 10 jobs in the world. On the public side, the total multilateral institution and co-lender funds cover only 10 to 15 percent of the capital needed for infrastructure alone in the developing world. On the private side, if only 3 to 5 percent of the liquid capital in private sector institutions were reallocated, they would more than fund all of that requirement for many years into the future. We must look to private sector investors and business operators to generate the scale of employment opportunities necessary for the displaced and host community residents.” said Chumir Foundation Chairman, Joel Bell. “Governments should use their limited capacities to create conditions that make commercial investment attractive - and businesses should provide the larger amounts to build and operate the undertakings” he went on to say.

The World Commission is recommending the creation of a ‘Merchant Bank’ to channel public funding to the de-risking of the environment for business transactions, to identify investment opportunities that would be commercially sustainable in the economies hosting the forcibly displaced and to facilitate their implementation.

“We, in the European Commission, are very mindful of the importance of creating jobs that make living possible for residents of the poorer areas of the world. We recognize the challenges in many of those markets and are very interested in constructive ideas for stimulating business investment in such locations. A serious and experienced group of people have devoted considerable time and have brought forward some constructive ideas. We will be considering these proposals from the World Commission on Forced Displacement very carefully and look forward to a further discussion after having done so” said President Juncker.

To read in more detail the Report of the World Commission on Forced Displacement, please follow the links below.

At a Glance

Executive Summary

The Report

Merchant Bank Proposal