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CGD research identifies how the private sector can leverage its core business to support and create economic opportunities for refugees and host communities. Our work includes proposals for how global businesses can engage refugees in hiring and supply chains, as well as mapping the policy and practical barriers companies face in different countries when trying to work with refugees.
As more than 1,900 corporate leaders convene in Davos this week to “create a shared future in a fractured world,” they should prioritize the well-being of the 22.5 million refugees around the world. In a joint report with the Tent Foundation, I highlight how global businesses can move beyond corporate social responsibility to engage refugees in their core business, especially by including refugees in hiring and supply chains.
Ensuring refugees have access to livelihoods opportunities is one of the key factors to broader stability. When refugees are allowed to contribute meaningfully to the economy, they gain self-reliance and economic security. Creating sustainable livelihoods, providing the right to work and to own a business, and creatively bringing refugees and native businesses into the formal economy can be steps in the right direction.
On Thursday we launched our new research at an event in New York with the Tent Foundation and CEOs from Ikea and other multinational corporations on how global businesses can engage refugees in more sustainable ways. As leaders gather for the UN General Assembly, we hope they will focus on the unique value add of businesses. Their leadership is vital at a time when some governments—including the United States, a historic leader on refugee issues—are stepping back from their commitments. With the right support and opportunities, refugees quickly become economic contributors to their host countries—and businesses are a critical piece of the puzzle.
Businesses have unique opportunities to help refugees and improve their bottom line at the same time, says CGD senior policy fellow Cindy Huang. All they need is the right policy framework. Get the highlights from Huang’s latest report, Global Business and Refugee Crises, a collaboration with the Tent Foundation.
Global businesses can make unique and valuable contributions to refugee response by engaging refugees not as aid recipients, but as employees, producers, investees, and customers.
The position of global enterprises as market leaders, policy influencers, and innovators gives them distinctive capacities for engagement and advocacy that do not exist within the traditional refugee response community.