CNN: Refugees as stimulus, not burdens. / by Harriet Dedman

My latest for CNN Money and CNN International:

Za'atari Refugee Camp, in Jordan, is now home to over 79,000 Syrian refugees. Established in 2012, the site - just 12 miles from the Syrian border - has grown at a rapid and organic rate, with over 3,000 businesses now operating within its boundaries. Four years ago, this area was a desert - claimed by the UNHCR - as the conflict drove millions from their homes. Now, over 3,000 small businesses operate within its boundaries, with an average total turnover of over $7 million a month. View on CNN here.

“While people generally see refugees as burdens or challenges, what refugees do is they also provide economic stimulus. They have to buy things, they have to rent homes, and so this actually provides a major impetus for economies which are otherwise suffering...”

— Andrew Harper, UNHCR Representative in Jordan