Providing lasting solutions for the world’s most vulnerable refugees

Locations Served
21 African countries, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey


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There are over 100 million forcibly displaced individuals worldwide due to conflict or persecution. Over 32 million of those displaced are refugees, meaning they have been forced to flee their home country.

The average refugee cannot return home for 20+ years.

More than half of all refugees are children, many of whom are separated from their parents or traveling alone.

84% of refugees are hosted in developing countries.

60% reside in urban areas rather than camps.

The vast majority are stuck in limbo in their host countries, dependent on underfunded aid programs and denied the right to work, move freely, own property and access public services. This leaves many refugees in desperate situations, often struggling for survival.

Programs Offered

Through two flagship programs, RefugePoint has worked in 250 locations in 52 countries.


This program involves permanently relocating refugees to countries that have active formal programs for resettling refugees. Although the resettlement quotas are de minimis for most host countries, the United States, Canada, and Australia have recently accepted refugee resettlement applications in modest numbers (approximately 125,000, 85,000, and 13,750 respectively). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for managing the resettlement process on behalf of all refugees via interactions with countries that have permanent resettlement programs. As with many of the UN’s tasks, the UNHCR is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the need and under-resourced. In partial response, RP provides staff to augment UN resources in UNHCR resettlement offices across Africa, taking on case management for the most at-risk refugee applicants whom they believe still have a chance of being accepted by receiving countries.


RefugePoint’s second program provides lifesaving interventions, such as shelter, health care, and business training directly to the most vulnerable urban refugees in Nairobi. The vast majority of the 32 million refugees worldwide are living in urban settings in foreign countries where they struggle to survive and adapt. Refugees, even if registered with UNHCR, frequently find themselves in a quasi-legal status where there remains a perpetual risk of arrest, harassment, and persecution by local officials and residents. Although most people think of a refugee’s status as a transitional or temporary in nature, the reality is that most refugees remain in refugee status for decades, and frequently the condition is permanent. RefugePoint recognizes this unfortunate reality and works to help refugees integrate locally, live safely and with dignity, and learn income producing skills to put them on a path to self-reliance and sustainability.

Although the Urban Refugee Program currently exists only in Nairobi, RefugePoint believes there are opportunities to replicate and scale this program to other cities in Africa where there are high concentrations of refugees living in an urban setting.

Historical Results


RefugePoint’s M&E regarding the UNHCR Collaboration Project counts the services provided by RefugePoint-funded staff deployed in UNHCR centers around Africa. The key performance indicator is the number of resettlement referrals completed by RefugePoint staff to host nations (United States, Canada, and Australia being the major hosts). Although it is impossible to precisely link the number of submitted resettlement referral cases to a number of accepted cases, all evidence suggests that 80% to 90% of completed applications to the United States, Canada, and Australia are accepted (i.e. result in actual resettlements to the host country).

  • Since 2005, RefugePoint has directly referred over 104,767 refugees for resettlement.
  • 8,250 refugees helped to access resettlement in 2021
  • 1,044 helped to access other pathways to safety (including labor mobility, family reunification, and education pathways) in 2021


RefugePoint’s M&E regarding the Urban Refugee Protection Program focuses on moving refugees from vulnerable and unstable living conditions to becoming “self reliant.” RefugePoint determines self-reliance on the basis of Self-Reliance Index (SRI)–co-developed by RefugePoint–that are given to the refugee every six months. The SRI scores each refugee household on a scale of 1-4 in twelve domains: housing, food, education, healthcare, health status, safety, employment, financial Resources, assistance, debt, savings, and social capital.

  • 3,839 refugee clients have graduated from RefugePoint’s program since 2015
  • 557 refugee clients graduated from RP’s program in 2021
  • 122 businesses launched by refugee clients in 2021

Path to Credibility

  • Focusing Philanthropy partner since 2016
  • RefugePoint founder and CEO, Sasha Chanoff, has been selected as both an Ashoka and an Echoing Green Fellow, recognized as a White House Champion of Change, and received the Charles Bronfman Humanitarian Prize.
  • Focusing Philanthropy has conducted four RefugePoint field visits in Kenya, Canada, and Niger.
→ Read Nairobi, Kenya Trip Report

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