Washington, D.C.-based emerging markets specialist and Asia Times columnist Gary N. Kleiman touts a gutsy idea on how to finance relief efforts for Europe’s snowballing migrant crisis: Refugee bonds.

Hundreds of migrants walk along a highway in Hungary
Hundreds of migrants walk along a highway in Hungary

Kleiman argues in a Thursday FT beyondbrics blog that the funding model which relies on governments backed by private donations has never kept pace with the displacement debacle that the UN says now affects 60 million people worldwide. The agency says 80% of these are in developing countries.

He proposes that financial markets, both debt and equity, could be mobilized for emerging economy frontline states to provide a new, long-term source to fund the pressing infrastructure and social needs of displaced persons. The money could also be harnessed to provide future professional training and employment entry. Sovereign refugee bonds, Kleiman says, would be a logical start, building on existing investor local and foreign-currency portfolios across emerging market regions.

It’s an interesting idea. Asia Unhedged is happy that someone’s using their noggin to craft a solution to a growing crisis that the EU and various governments are failing to address.

Pioneer and recognized expert in the field of global emerging economies and financial markets. Founder of first consulting firm dedicated to providing independent analysis and advice to public and private sector clients in 1987, and research coverage and firsthand experience covers 75 countries in all developing regions. Advisor on financial vulnerability issues, risk management, portfolio allocation, and financial sector and capital markets strategy and development.

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