The aim of this report is to highlight evidence regarding the roles and impact that Local Faith Communities (LFCs) play in relation to urban refugees, with the aim of informing interconnected conversations around localisation and urbanisation.
The international community is increasingly committed to supporting local responses to displacement, at a time when the humanitarian system is overburdened, underfunded and in flux as the world reportedly faces the highest levels of displacement ever recorded – over 65 million people in 2017, who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, and persecution. In 2016 the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) resulted in the Charter for Change and a renewed call for meaningful support for the ‘localisation of humanitarian aid’ agenda. In part building on the UNHCR’s work following the High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Faith and Protection in December 2012, this includes recognition of the actual and potential roles of LFCs in offering protection, solidarity and assistance to displaced people throughout different stages and spaces of their journeys.
This evidence is therefore centrally relevant to two key debates in contemporary humanitarian policy and practice – localisation and urbanisation – whose outcomes will have a signifcant impact on the future of refugee protection.