Billionaire George Soros, owner of the $25 billion family office Soros Fund Management, has pledged to invest as much as $500 million to help refugees and migrants globally.
“We will invest in startups, established companies, social impact initiatives, and businesses started by migrants and refugees themselves,” Soros said in a statement Tuesday. “These investments are intended to be successful.”
The investments will be owned by Soros’ non-profit organizations and the profits will go to fund programs at the Open Society Foundations, including programs that benefit migrants and refugees, according to the statement. Soros plans to work with organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee to establish appropriate investment principles for the initiative, according to the statement.
Globally, 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced, according to the UNHCR. Of those, 21.3 million are refugees, and 10 million are stateless. More than half the world’s refugees are fleeing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.
Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said the organization supports Soros’ pledge to make investments that will help refugees become self-reliant and help host communities. Refugees need access to financial and legal services, education and employment opportunities, Grandi said according to the statement.
Soros is chairman and founder of the Open Society Foundations, a network of foundations supporting issues such as education, human rights, migration and health, with about 40 offices globally.