A transformative pledge to connect forcibly displaced people and their hosts
a lifeline for
refugees and their hosts
but it’s one that
still can’t take for granted.
Forcibly displaced people are
less likely than those not displaced
to have an internet-enabled phone.
20% of rural refugees have no internet access.
for refugees and their hosts,
but it’s one many still can’t take for granted.
Forcibly displaced people are
less likely than those not displaced to have an internet-enabled phone.
of rural refugees
have no internet access
Key connectivity-related issues
Low digital literacy
Unfavourable policy and regulatory environments
Together we can ensure
our connected world
leaves no one behind.
Global Refugee Forum 2023
Pledge: Connectivity for Refugees
For those forced to flee, meaningful connectivity can bring access to life-saving information, online learning opportunities, new sources of income, and more. This Global Refugee Forum pledge aims to mobilize the expertise, resources, and investment we need to meet our goal of ensuring all major refugee hosting areas have available and affordable connectivity by 2030, advancing the digital inclusion of more than 20 million people forced to flee and their hosts.
The pledge will bring together a wide coalition of actors dedicated to providing connectivity to forcibly displaced and stateless people and the communities that host them. It will enable coordinated action, resource mobilization, knowledge sharing, and progress monitoring – ultimately ensuring pledges are met and communities are connected.
Supporters commit to take action on:
Enabling policy and regulatory environment
Fostering an enabling policy and regulatory environment for building and expanding connectivity infrastructure, including sustainable power supply, along with lifting legal barriers to individual access to services.
Understanding connectivity levels and needs in refugee hosting areas, providing connectivity infrastructure, piloting new business models for advancing connectivity, and building evidence-based pathways for sustainable, inclusive connectivity solutions.
Connecting key facilities
Ensuring key facilities in areas hosting refugees and internally displaced people – for instance, schools, health centres, and community centres – are connected to the internet, and that community members enjoy access to both devices and relevant content.
Find out more about the
Background and synergies
This pledge builds on and recognizes commitments made at the 2019 Global Refugee Forum and at the High-Level Officials Meeting toward enhancing connectivity for forcibly displaced communities. This transformational agenda can only be achieved with committed, innovative, shared-value partnerships.
This pledge, as part of the Global Refugee Forum process, links closely with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Partner2Connect Digital Coalition. UNHCR and ITU are coordinating to ensure that those contributing to this shared agenda are recognized on both platforms.
This pledge is co-convened by UNHCR, ITU, GSMA, and the Government of Luxembourg. A wide and growing network of partners across government, private sector, international and regional organizations, NGOs, and community-led organizations have either contributed pledges or expressed interest.
Join us at the Global Refugee Forum
The initiative partners will be coming together with stakeholders from communities, industry, governments, private sector, and more to announce pledges, celebrate commitments, and hear from diverse voices.
Thursday, 14 December 2023, from 10:30–12:00 CET. Join us on Zoom here.
GRF side event
14 December 2023
Delivery of commitments
January 2024 onward