MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: World Refugee Fund Created by Kiva, Alight, Tent Foundation, USA for UNHCR to Collect Loan Capital from Individuals for Displaced People

Kiva, a US-based, nonprofit crowdfunding platform for microfinance institutions (MFIs), recently launched its World Refugee Fund to raise money online from individuals for on-lending to institutions serving cross-border refugees and people who have been internally displaced. Kiva has secured an unspecified amount of financial backing for the fund from three US-based nonprofits: the Alight Fund; the Tent Foundation; and USA for UNHCR, an organization that supports the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The World Refugee Fund allows people to “help fund a loan with as little as USD 25” via the internet. To build interest in the fund, Kiva will double the amount users loan on the site for an undisclosed period of time.

Established in 2005 in San Francisco, California, Kiva allows individuals to make loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) to backfill loans that the MFIs have made to low-income borrowers. As of 2017, Kiva has intermediated loans from 1.6 million website visitors to retail lenders in 82 countries.

By Jacob O’Driscoll, Research Associate

Sources and Additional Information

Kiva World Refugee Fund

Alight Fund


Tent Foundation


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