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Supporting self-reliance

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) founded the EU-UNOPS Lives in Dignity (LiD) Grant Facility in 2020. Its purpose is to efficiently and effectively channel funding into promoting development-oriented approaches to new, recurrent and protracted displacement crises, focusing on early operational engagement. To this end, the LiD Grant Facility will support innovative projects with €24 million between 2021 and 2025. Projects funded work across some of the most pressing forced displacement crises in the world, including those countries impacted by crises in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Venezuela, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel region of Africa and Central America. Core to the work of the facility is the harnessing of learning and best practices both locally and regionally to inform work on forced displacement globally.


In the past decade, the forced displacement crisis has increased in both scale and complexity. The number of people forcibly displaced has risen to 82.4 million in 2020 – more than 1% of the world’s population. An estimated 40% are children under the age of 18.

Most displaced people exist in a limbo that is economically insecure, psychologically traumatic, and devoid of a planning horizon. Host communities, 86% of whom are in developing countries, are themselves frequently overburdened, under-resourced and overwhelmed by the influx.

The protracted nature of forced displacement means current models of displacement management are largely ineffective. Stronger cooperation between development, humanitarian, and peace actors will result in more effective and lasting solutions for those affected by forced displacement, ensuring they do not become locked in a cycle of reliance and dependency.

Approach and expected impact

The LiD Grant Facility supports refugees and other displaced persons to become productive members of their host communities and participate in furthering their common resilience, socio-economic growth and development.

The strategic priorities for the Facility are:

  • Early engagement of development-led approaches to forced displacement
  • A needs-based rather than status-based approach, including all displacement-affected populations
  • A coherent and complementary approach with strong synergies between all partners.

The Facility focuses on five thematic areas:

  1. economic livelihood development
  2. spatial planning, housing and settlement
  3. integrated service delivery (health, education, water and sanitation, energy)
  4. protection in development
  5. addressing disaster and climate-related human mobility

The LiD Grant Facility’s flexible structure ensures it is agile and responsive, reinforcing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. It contributes to and aligns with existing global efforts, drawing on the expertise of numerous actors, which in turn informs the strategic direction and the overall work of the Facility.

Operational structure

The LiD Grant Facility Project Steering Committee (PSC), made up of representatives from both the European Commission and UNOPS, is supported by a global Advisory Board (AB) made up of expert representatives from displacement and development-focused entities. A local advisory structure is being created to support the PSC, AB and the Facility’s implementing partners throughout implementation. A wider group of stakeholders are also regularly consulted as part of the establishment and implementation of the Facility’s work.

UNOPS is responsible for the management of the Grant Facility. The European Commission funds the project and is responsible for the strategic direction and funding allocation for the Grant Facility.

The Lives in Dignity Grant Facility Strategy

The Lives in Dignity Grant Facility strategy was built on the foundations of global policy frameworks and has been driven by an international and multidisciplinary consultative process. The flexible structure assures it is agile and responsive, reinforcing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. The full strategy is available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.