Efforts to support refugee and migrant businesses in the US have received a major boost after hedge fund billionaire, George Soros promised a huge donation. According to a report published by Politico on September 9, George Soros will donate $500 million to support various migrant and refugee run businesses, social initiatives and startups in different sectors of the economy. The decision follows what Soros describes as the inability of various entities, including governments to come up with effective policies to handle refugees. This incapacity has contributed to the unending human misery and political instability. Soros echoed the same sentiments in an Op-Ed that appeared in the Wall Street Journal on September 6, 2016.
To stem the refugee and migrant crisis, governments and the private sector alike need to be at the forefront of developing a sustainable social and physical support infrastructure. Soros hopes to expand his initiative to cover refugees and immigrants in Europe and other parts of the world. The decision by Soros to inject $500 million to aid migrant and refugee businesses follow an earlier push by the Obama administration to invite US companies to support initiatives aimed at transforming the lives of refugees. The initiative is looking for investors with cash and kind to support the basic needs of refugees, migrants and the host communities. One of the sectors Soros believes can greatly turn around the crisis on its head is investment in digital technology.
The sector can easily bring government services, as well as health, financial and legal services closer to the people at little cost. Soros plans to work closely with the United Nations Office for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and other like-minded organizations to develop an investment framework of action for vulnerable groups. The decision, he believes, will inspire other investors in the private sector to come forth. Elsewhere, a report appearing on State.gov indicates that US is by far the world’s biggest contributor and supporter of vulnerable groups. In Syria, the US has contributed over $5 billion since the crisis began.
About George Soros
George Soros is a hedge fund billionaire, political activist, author and philanthropist. According to Wikipedia, the Hungarian born business mogul made his big break in 1992 during the UK currency crisis, when he made a short sale that earned him $1 billion. Today, Soros has a net worth estimated at over $25 billion. On the humanitarian front, Soros established the Open Foundation Societies in 1993, to support civic societies around the world by providing financial support and expertise in areas such as education, health, media and justice. The New York based foundation operates in over 100 countries. The self made billionaire has also written over 12 books on wide ranging topics, from globalization to the economy and the war on terrorism.