Expanding Third Country Solutions

Expanding Third Country Solutions


Kenya. Somali refugees depart Dadaab to be resettled.

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) promotes responsibility-sharing with host countries by focusing on solutions, including by expanding third country solutions which include resettlement and complementary pathways. Here you will find information on how UNHCR and partners work together to turn this element of the Compact into action. Refugee situations continue to increase in scope, scale and complexity. The vast majority of refugees (85 per cent) are hosted in low- and middle-income countries. Despite the generosity of host countries and donors, there is an urgent need to share the responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s growing number of refugees more equitably. 

Third Country Solutions for Refugees: Roadmap 2030

The GCR envisaged the development of a Three-Year Strategy (2019-2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways (hereinafter, the Strategy), as a key vehicle to increase the number of resettlement spaces, expand the number of resettlement countries and improve the availability and predictability of complementary pathways for refugees.

The Strategy, which was launched in June 2019, established a three-year framework while also outlining a ten-year plan for the systematic expansion of third-country solutions. The Third Country Solutions for Refugees: Roadmap 2030 (hereinafter, the Roadmap) expands on the Strategy's objectives and is the result of extensive multi-stakeholder consultations with states, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, private sector actors, academia, faith-based actors, refugees, and other UN agencies.

The Roadmap reaffirms the Strategy's long-term goals and recognizes the need to extend the implementation timeline in order to achieve the Strategy's vision, taking into account the significant effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to align with the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) cycle. It lays out updated enabling actions, key indicators to monitor progress, as well as short and medium-term activities as the next phase toward achieving the Strategy’s vision by 2030. It is foreseen that these actions will be subsequently refreshed as needed to continue to be relevant in order to meet the objectives of the GCR.

The Strategy and Roadmap goals are to: 

  1. Grow Resettlement;
  2. Advance Complementary Pathways and Family Reunification;
  3. Build the Foundation.


CRISP - Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative

The Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Pathways Initiative (CRISP) is a multi-stakeholder and global mechanism which aims to support States and other stakeholders to grow resettlement programmes and advance complementary pathways. It provides targeted capacity building such as training, technical assistance, and deployments of experts. Strengthening the capabilities of communities and individuals, institutions and infrastructure is a critical element to achieve the goals of the Three-Year Strategy. The CRISP was developed jointly by UNHCR and IOM and was launched in 2020. This initiative is a direct outcome of recommendations made by resettlement States and key stakeholders during the Three-Year Strategy (2019-2021) on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways consultation process.

How to contribute?


A family sits on the beach having a picnic


In line with the multi-stakeholder and whole-of-society approach required to achieve the goals of the Strategy, the following are non-exhaustive illustrative examples of the types of contributions that different stakeholders can make to support the Strategy.


  • Civil society at the international, regional, national and local levels (including NGOs, faith-based organisations, refugees in receiving countries, diaspora and citizens): Bring refugees and local communities together through sponsorship models, volunteerism, mentorship programs and inter-faith and intercultural events.
    Good practice: Student sponsorship programme in Canada
  • Governments in receiving countries: Support mechanisms and approaches for meaningful refugee participation.
    Good practice: Dutch professionals & former resettled refugees cooperate to help with pre-departure orientation training
  • Governments in receiving countries: Expand the size of resettlement programmes and/or establish new ones that are protection-centered, predictable, responsive and include multi-year commitments.
    Good practice: Priority global quota for resettlement
  • Academic and research institutions: Generate, translate and disseminate evidence to inform policies and programmes and support practitioners.
    Good practice: Protected entry – a safe alternative pathway
  • Individuals and their communities in receiving countries: sponsor a family through community sponsorship. Community sponsorship allows groups of individuals to directly support refugees and other persons in need of international protection admitted under resettlement or complementary pathways in their reception and integration. Several countries have developed community sponsorship programmes through which groups of individuals commit to providing practical, emotional and material support. Find out more about community sponsorship here.