Cross-sector partnerships can help catalyze the development and implementation of innovative and strategic long-term solutions to address critical refugee challenges. Below are several examples of previous and existing partnerships by target impact areas. To learn which companies have responded to the Call to Action with new pledges, click here.
Education: Creating access to education
Microsoft & Nonprofit Partnerships
Through its nonprofit partnerships, Microsoft is currently supporting refugee education efforts in Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Jordan. For instance, in Germany, Microsoft has made its YouthSpark Schlaumause (Arabic to German language training) program available to 3,000 elementary schools, serving approximately 30,000 refugee children. In the coming months, Microsoft will commit more resources to this initiative to double Schlaumause's impact.
At the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, Microsoft has supported the establishment of The Norwegian Refugee Council's technology lab, which teaches adult refugees computer skills, improving their future employability.
Finally, through its support for NetHope, Microsoft has helped bring connectivity services to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. With connectivity, refugees have been able to access information and resources, and connect to family. Going forward, Microsoft aims to work across the industry to help provide much-needed infrastructure, as well as longer-term aid. In the coming months, Microsoft will deepen its commitment and expand its ability to prepare for, and respond to, humanitarian and natural disasters.
Accenture & Upwardly Global
As one of Accenture's largest Skills to Succeed partners, Upwardly Global ("UpGlo") helps work-authorized immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who are skilled and foreign educated to overcome the barriers to entering professional careers in the US.
In 2013, Accenture teamed up with UpGlo to launch a new online employment training program focused on developing the skills necessary to be successful in landing on professional jobs in the U.S. Developed with an Accenture grant, the program helps skilled refugees and immigrants gain relevant job search skills by offering remote access to interactive training on job searching, resume writing, interviewing and networking skills, and providing industry-specific technical and career pathways training for foreign-trained healthcare and IT professionals.
Accenture helped expand UpGlo's services in 2015-2016 by equipping 1700 refugees and immigrants with career skills and securing jobs for up to 750 per year with the help of Accenture volunteers and a mix of cash donations and pro bono support. Together, Accenture and UpGlo have succeeded in empowering over 3,000 refugees and immigrants through its training program, and aim for 10,000 users over the next three years. Close to 2,000 Accenture staff have volunteered over 5,000 hours to help UpGlo provide job training counseling, mock interviews and networking training to immigrants. Job seekers from UpGlo are encouraged to apply for jobs at Accenture upon completion of the program.
Chipotle & International Rescue Committee
Since 2009, the IRC and Chipotle have developed a multi-faceted partnership that includes refugee and asylee employment, urban farming and culinary entrepreneurship grants, support of nutrition incentives and healthy food access programs and event sponsorship. IRC and Chipotle share important core values of investing in promoting healthier people and communities - and our collaboration has centered around cultivating a better world via the food sector.
Chipotle acknowledges that many immigrants come to the U.S. with a knowledge-base and passion for cultivating and cooking fresh food. The IRC is a preferred employment partner for Chipotle, and IRC works side-by-side with Chipotle restaurant managers and regional HR recruiters in every US city where IRC offices and Chipotle restaurants overlap (~24 cities).
Chipotle has underwritten IRC's initiative to equip refugee and immigrant farmer entrepreneurs with the tools they need to pursue urban farming to grow fresh, culturally appropriate produce to feed themselves, their families, and their communities in 9 US cities. More recently, Chipotle is also bolstering the IRC's gardening and nutrition education programs for youth.
Together, IRC and Chipotle are growing healthier neighborhoods by harnessing the valuable, diverse skills that refugees bring to this country, as well as their value as committed, resilient employees and community members.
LinkedIn & Various Multi-Sector Initiatives
In February 2016, LinkedIn launched its first pilot initiative in Sweden, Welcome Talent, to help address the refugee crisis. Using the LinkedIn platform, LinkedIn created a microsite that served as an entry point to connect newly settled refugees with employers that have committed to hiring them. The site has information, resources and case studies to help refugees create optimal profiles. To date, more than 1,000 jobs have been posted from potential employers. This is a multi-sector initiative working with the Swedish government, NGO community, universities and the private sector. LinkedIn is also one of the founding partners of the Tent Foundation private sector alliance that has formed to address the refugee crisis. LinkedIn is currently exploring other markets where we might expand this work.
Enablement: Strengthening infrastructure and access to resources needed for refugees to become self-reliant and to support countries that welcome them
Google, Mercy Corps & International Rescue Committee
In response to the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Google partnered to create Refugee Info Hub.
Humanitarian organizations like the IRC and Mercy Corps were early responders to the crisis and recognized that access to accurate and credible information was a priority and safety concern for refugees arriving in Greece. Refugee Info Hub was a strong compliment to ongoing information and protection activities to protect the most vulnerable already underway. Google’s partnership allowed organizations to come together and collaborate quickly on an effective digital solution.
In October 2015, the site was created and launched in 36 hours using Google Docs. The site has since transitioned to an alternative open source CMS as it expanded to new countries outside of Greece.
In the past seven months, more than 60,000 refugees in over 20 locations have used the site with more than 30 NGOs providing content.
JPMorgan Chase & International Rescue Committee
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is supporting innovative programming to enhance the quality and scale of IRC's financial coaching services in its domestic network of 22 offices in 13 states. Refugees arrive with little savings, no assets, and no understanding of the complex US financial system in which they find themselves. The absence of basic budgeting skills and a lack of understanding of credit can result in poor financial management and early missteps that can haunt a refugee family for many ears after their arrival. Once refugees - like many other immigrant and low-income families - have a negative credit score, they are essentially excluded from mainstream and affordable financial products.
JPMC's investment has enabled IRC to 1) bolster the integration of existing financial coaching efforts in the Oakland and San Diego offices and 2) to develop a model for financial coaching that meets the unique needs of IRC's refugee and immigrant clients and provide learning for service providers working with low income populations more broadly.
MasterCard & World Food Program
In 2013, WFP and MasterCard rolled out an electronic payment (e-card) program in Jordan and Lebanon within a broader partnership that aimed to expand the use and delivery of “digital food” – in the form of cash and vouchers – to the hungry poor around the world. The partnership linked MasterCard’s expertise in payment systems with WFP’s expertise in providing food assistance. MasterCard provided technology and expertise in pre-paid card solutions and set up the e-card system that would be the backbone modality of WFP’s food assistance to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Families received a card loaded with US$27 per person each month, which could be redeemed for a list of items at participating local stores. These included fresh produce not normally found in traditional food rations. The e-cards enabled refugees to meet their needs and helped boost the local economy in these two countries – Jordan being host to the largest number of refugees.
Besides being more efficient than in-kind food aid and even paper vouchers, the new e-cards broadened people’s food choices and served as an excellent example of how our combined efforts can offer powerful, cutting-edge ways to fight hunger.
UPS & UNICEF
For over 10 years, UPS has partnered with the US Fund for UNICEF, providing grant funding to a range of UNICEF programs, in-kind shipping, freight and expertise. UPS has supported UNICEF's work in emergency preparedness and relief efforts, girls’ education, child protection, and UNICEF’s School-in-a-Box program.
In 2013 and 2014, UPS mobilized its worldwide network of staff, warehouses, and shipping and freight services to help UNICEF in the refugee emergency, culminating in one of the most complex relief efforts UPS and UNICEF have partnered. Over this two-year period UPS helped send nearly 44,000 winter clothing kits to refugee children in Lebanon and Northern Iraq. UPS were involved throughout the project planning and a critical partner to its execution.
Other Leading Examples:
Pfizer & International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee is partnering with Pfizer to address the low immunization coverage of children under one year old and high unmet need for family planning in Ethiopia and Uganda, while simultaneously building evidence about delivery models that reach the most underserved women and children. IRC is implementing integrated family planning (FP) and immunization service delivery models and supporting routine immunization activities in some of the countries' most remote and difficult to reach areas. More specifically, IRC is supporting health facilities to enable and strengthen FP and expanded immunization services, improve referrals to additional services, build health provider capacity, and support supply provision. To improve overall use of FP, health providers are trained on FP counseling and how to administer a variety of methods, expanding the range of options women can access at health facilities
In both countries, robust community engagement strategies are enabling outreach workers to increase awareness and demand for immunization services. Additionally, IRC is strengthening family planning service delivery models and is developing targeted community outreach strategies to transform community leaders, religious figures, men and youth into powerful advocates for family planning.
Airbnb & International Relief Organizations
Airbnb is partnering with leading international relief organizations including UNHCR, the International Rescue Committee, and Mercy Corps, in responding to the global refugee crisis. Our support includes the donation of travel credits to relief organizations, which allow their humanitarian workers to book accommodations on the front lines where they are responding to some of the most urgent refugee needs.
Airbnb has encouraged its community to join it in supporting this important cause by donating financial resources through a dedicated landing page on its website. This summer, Airbnb is working with UNHCR to develop a renewed global call to action during the Olympics in Rio. Additionally, Airbnb has signed on as a pledge partner with the Tent Alliance to encourage and catalyze other private sector engagement as this humanitarian crisis evolves. Airbnb is working with a range of partners domestically and around the world to continue to assess how we can support this global response.
UPS & UNHCR
The UNHCR-UPS Foundation partnership is a multi-year collaboration that uses a multi-tasking approach to respond to the refugee crisis. UPS contributes its expertise in logistics, supply and communications, as well as flexible funding to enhance UNHCR’s emergency response. To date, UPS has provided freight services to transport critical relief supplies, charter planes aid and assistance during fast-breaking emergencies, technological training to UNHCR staff and partners, and has signed up to help improve global fleet management solutions for UNHCR. Additionally, UPS’ signature “Relief Link” program has enhanced the distribution of supplies to refugees through the “last-mile” delivery tracking of food and other essential items. UPS’ contribution has benefitted thousands of displaced families and individuals in several locations, from Nepal to Greece to Mauritania.
Johnson & Johnson & Save the Children
Johnson & Johnson is addressing the needs of all children affected by the Syrian conflict. They are addressing the needs of refugees through the entire corridor; from origin, to transition, to destination countries. Together, with Save the Children, Johnson & Johnson is looking at both the immediate humanitarian response as well as resiliency efforts.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson is implementing a targeted project in Lebanon to address the rise of child labor where refugee children are targets for exploitation, and missing out on years of schooling. Save the Children's partnership with Johnson & Johnson will enhance caregiver knowledge on the risks of child labor, building the capacity of children to engage in their own protection, and provide education and skills building activities.