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Trickle Up’s Partnership with PRM

By: Janet Heisey



Trickle Up


We’re proud to announce a new partnership with the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to deliver high-quality, transformational livelihood support to thousands of refugees.
PRM has awarded Trickle Up nearly $500,000 in support of its Graduation and Refugees Initiative to provide technical assistance to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This assistance will, over the course of the initiative’s three years, support 37,000 refugees worldwide to improve their livelihoods by increasing the capacity of Trickle Up, UNHCR, and other NGO or government actors.

More than 65 million people are currently displaced by conflict and persecution – the largest number since World War II. While the current Syrian crisis dominates the news, many refugees situations are protracted. In fact, the average length of protracted refugee situations is estimated at 26 years, requiring organizations once focused on emergency response to broaden the scope of their services. UNHCR recognized this growing need and, with support from Trickle Up, has adapted the Graduation Approach to help refugees build sustainable livelihoods and connect to others living in extreme poverty in their host communities to build social support networks.

How does Graduation work? The Graduation Approach enables families to become self-reliant through a time-bound and sequenced program that addresses the needs of those families at every step of their progress. Graduation starts with cash support to enable people to participate in project activities, training on livelihood skills and financial literacy, seed capital to launch a business, savings mobilization, and community engagement – all supported with regular visits from a coach. For refugees, participation in Graduation can mean a much-improved financial position, greater ties to their community and connection to organizations and institutions that can be helpful to them even after they graduate from support. UNHCR and Trickle Up are currently utilizing the Graduation Approach with refugees in five countries: Egypt, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Burkina Faso, and Zambia. Our Graduation and Refugees Initiative, with the support of PRM, will reach 17 more countries in the next three years.

“We are honored to be selected by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to help refugees around the world benefit from Trickle Up’s time-tested economic development and financial inclusion approach,” says Bill Abrams, Trickle Up President.
The project will enable Trickle Up to increase its capacity to effectively support the Graduation and Refugees initiative by adding staff and improving systems required to provide effective technical assistance support to UNHCR and support other organizations to utilize Graduation with refugees. In addition, the grant helps to increase the capacity of UNHCR offices to design and implement the Graduation Approach to serve refugees in a wide variety of contexts and countries. Through these combined efforts, refugees and host-country nationals living in extreme poverty gain regular income, financial skills, confidence, and social connections.

Together, we’ll ensure many thousands more refugees can create brighter futures for their families by finding employment or launching enterprises.