This article examines the lessons to be derived from programmes implemented in refugee situations to help women attain greater economic self-reliance. It begins by setting the overall context for these programmes: the objective, not always realized, of moving from a relief orientation in refugee programmes towards a development approach. It then describes the various economic activities in which women engage in refugee settings. The article continues with a critique of one means of assisting women become economically self-reliant: income-generation projects for refugee women. The article then discusses the relationships that need to be established between relief and development organizations to promote greater self-reliance for refugee women, referring in particular to the working relationship being established between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women). It concludes with recommendations for future efforts to enhance the self-reliance of refugee women.