NEW YORK, September 24, 2018 – Twenty companies today announced that they will leverage their core business and social responsibility initiatives to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and around the world, providing a range of opportunities including jobs, training, investments, and new business lines.
The announcements were made at an event hosted by Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chobani and Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. The announcements highlight the continued resolve of the private sector to support refugees and host communities globally. The companies, including Sodexo, Hilton, Uniqlo, Barilla, Ipsos, and Careem, join the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a coalition of global companies committed to leveraging their core business and social responsibility initiatives to provide support to refugees around the world.
“The global refugee crisis is not something that NGOs and governments can solve on their own. Now more than ever, we need businesses to step up and act,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “It’s not a choice, but a responsibility. I’m grateful that Tent is now over 100 companies strong—it’s a clear sign that momentum is growing. But I hope today inspires many more companies to do their part and help give the millions of men, women, and children who’ve lost everything the future they deserve.”
“There are more than 25 million refugees in the world, the majority of whom are now living in low-or middle-income countries,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “These host countries face enormous challenges to meet the pressing needs of refugees while continuing to provide for their own people. I applaud the businesses who have made concrete commitments today to support refugees and their host communities. My hope is that more businesses will be inspired to act and provide the critical support that’s needed to create opportunities for everyone.”
The following companies announced new commitments to support refugees around the world:
- Sodexo will hire 300 refugees in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Sweden by 2020.
- Hilton will build on existing efforts to impact 16,000 refugees by 2030 by providing hospitality skills training, in-kind donations and volunteer hours to refugee organizations, and offering employment opportunities.
- Ipsos will hire 100 refugees by 2020 and will lead “Project Understanding,” a global study focused on how to build a broad public consensus on supporting refugees.
- Ben & Jerry’s will engage their fans in campaigning for progressive policy change for refugees and asylum seekers, and at least 500 refugees will complete their business incubator program and be hired for part-time employment in Europe by 2023.
- Careem will hire 100 refugees and upskill 100 refugees through skills-based workshops and mentoring by 2023.
- Barilla will provide internship and job opportunities to 75 refugees in Europe by 2023, adding to the nearly 60 employment opportunities the company has already provided.
- Uniqlo will hire refugees in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany and Japan.
- Microsoft will scale its humanitarian efforts for refugees through partnerships and investments that connect refugee children and young people to education, digital skills and meaningful opportunities, empowering them to thrive in a digital world.
- Care.com will extend its German pilot program in partnership with the International Rescue Committee to train 1,000 refugee women for employment in the care industry by 2020.
- Hissho Sushi will help 1,250 refugees become franchise owners by 2023 as it expands its locations across the United States and hire 30 refugees at its headquarters to support this expansion.
- Amplio Recruiting will place 10,000 resettled refugees in the U.S. in full-time employment by 2023 (dependent upon a pool of working age refugees in the U.S. seeking employment).
Commitments focused on Jordan were also made from the following companies and organizations:
- GroFin, through its Nomou Jordan Fund, will deploy $5 million to small and medium-sized enterprises in Jordan that are either owned by refugees or employ refugees over the next 2 years, with funding support from Shell Foundation, KfW, Dutch Good Growth Fund, Lundin Foundation and the Soros Economic Development Fund.
- Citi will support a joint initiative between the Tent Partnership for Refugees and Samasource in Jordan to strengthen Jordan’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, positioning it to help create more jobs for both vulnerable Jordanians and refugees.
- Paramount Fine Foods will source $1 million worth of products from suppliers in Jordan that hire or are committed to hiring at least 25 percent refugees.
- KOIS Invest will raise at least $10 million in capital to invest in a three-year development impact bond (DIB) that is structured to support job training and entrepreneurship for Syrian refugees and local vulnerable populations in Jordan and Lebanon.
- VPS Healthcare will develop and deliver training programs for qualified doctors, nurses and health workers, including refugees and Jordanians, in partnership with the Royal Health Awareness Society (RHAS).
- Jerash Garments will hire an additional 100 refugees at its factory in Jordan within a year.
- Safe Ports will hire 100 refugees at its new logistics hub in northern Jordan.
- 17 Asset Management will launch 17 Jordan, an investment platform that will promote Jordan-focused investment deals, a third of which will be directed at refugees and their host communities.
- Groenendijk Bedrijfskleding will source $1 million worth of garments from suppliers in Jordan that hire or are committed to hiring at least 25 percent refugees.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology will expand its training programs in tech skills for refugees and Jordanians.
“Since Tent’s inception just under three years ago, we’ve seen an immense amount of interest from businesses to get involved in addressing the global refugee crisis,” said Gideon Maltz, Executive Director of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “Now more than ever, businesses can and should be stepping up to help refugees. We’re excited to welcome these companies into our growing network.”
For the World Bank Group, these efforts are part of a broader strategy to engage corporate actors and foundations in critical areas of development, such as the forced displacement crisis while promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to business-to-business matchmaking, the World Bank is also working with numerous partners to help create opportunities for greater investments, while using its policy and sector work to address employment and market development constraints.
These 20 companies join Tent’s global coalition of more than 100 businesses supporting refugees, allowing them the opportunity to access relevant resources and events, and share the impact of their efforts across the Tent network. The full list of Tent members can be found here.
About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
The Tent Partnership for Refugees, founded by Chobani’s Hamdi Ulukaya, is mobilizing the private sector to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 25 million refugees forcibly displaced from their home countries. Ulukaya launched Tent with the belief that the private sector is uniquely positioned to address the global refugee crisis by mobilizing the networks, resources, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the business community. There are over 100 companies in the Tent Partnership supporting refugees across 34 countries. The full list of Tent members can be found here.
Tent believes that companies have the greatest impact when they treat refugees not as victims, but as economically-productive workers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, and customers - and when they leverage their core business operations to hire refugees, integrate them into supply chains, invest in refugees, and deliver services to them. Learn more about Tent: http://www.tent.org.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org, www.miga.org, and www.ifc.org.