President Barack Obama applauded private efforts to help refugees and migrants, specifically George Soros’ multi-hundred million dollar effort, during a CEO roundtable at the United Nations Tuesday.
“As I discussed in my speech earlier today before the General Assembly, our international system is facing a number of challenges, none of which can be solved by a single country,” Obama said. “And what we have represented here is the results of what we launched what we call A Call to Action, to encourage companies to contribute not just money but their unique expertise. And as you can see, some extraordinary companies and individuals have answered the call.” (RELATED: Obama Administration Joint Effort With Corporations Can Resettle Refugees Limitlessly)
Obama announced that 50 companies have committed more than $650 million “that are all designed to help empower more than 6.3 million refugees across more than 20 countries.”
The president then announced education opportunities that Microsoft, Google, and the Clooney Foundation for Justice, among other groups, are launching for more than 80,000 refugees. “You have companies like Accenture, Western Union, and LinkedIn that are going to help with internships, skills training and job placement. Newton Supply Company, a small business in Texas that makes handbags, is going to make 90 percent of their bags with local refugees,” Obama added. He said that “today’s commitment means that we’re going to be creating employment opportunities for more than 220,000 refugees.”
It is unclear if these employment opportunities are just in the United States or worldwide.
Obama’s Call to Action program seeks to have private organizations help refugees through a variety of means. It should be noted that education visas, training visas, and work visas for refugees do not count under the U.S’ cap for refugee resettlements.
“The private sector is also driving change through investment. For example, George Soros and the Soros Fund Management is making an extraordinary investment of up to $500 million in companies that come up with sustainable long-term solutions to help refugees,” Obama said before the CEO roundtable. This roundtable is just one part of Obama’s Tuesday efforts to help increase opportunities given to refugees around the world.
At the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees, countries announced improved access to work opportunities for about 1 million refugees worldwide and roughly double the amount of resettlements or other means of admission for refugees then they offered in 2016.