©UNHCR/Deepesh Das Shrestha
What is the Partnership for Refugees?
The Partnership for Refugees was launched on June 30 to support the White House's Call to Action that aimed to encourage new private sector involvement and increased efforts in response to the global refugee crisis in the areas of education, employment, and enablement. The White House’s Call to Action has challenged the U.S. private sector to make new, measurable and significant commitments that will have a long-term, sustainable impact on refugees residing in countries on the frontlines of this crisis and in countries of resettlement, like the United States. To date, more than 50 companies have committed to investing, donating, or raising more than $650 million to aid refugees around the world.
As of November 1, 2016, the Partnership for Refugees transitioned its activities to the Tent Alliance as the permanent host of this initiative, and merging to become a single entity --the Tent Partnership for Refugees.
How is this Partnership different from other work being done to help refugees?
The Partnership is a joint initiative of the State Department and USA for UNHCR, with the support of Accenture, to facilitate the private sector’s participation in the White House’s Call to Action. It focuses on providing guidance to corporations that wish to take action in supporting refugees in the areas of education, employment, and enablement. This work is distinct from other initiatives that support the basic lifesaving needs of refugees, i.e. food, water, shelter, and safety. While this type of work is crucial, the Partnership is focused on three key impact areas that are often overlooked in regards to refugee resettlement/integration.
What are the benefits of the Partnership to refugees?
The Partnership has been working to increase private sector support across primarily three impact areas (education, employment, and enablement) by helping interested private sector actors find suitable actions they can take, often in conjunction with or in support of NGO and UN agency efforts.
What are the areas of focus for the Partnership?
The Partnership has been focusing on three primary impact areas: education, employment, and enablement. The Partnership has been helping the private sector leverage its expertise to facilitate education opportunities for refugee children and young adults by ensuring that refugee students have access to traditional schools of all levels, and by creating quality long-distance learning platforms and programs.
In order to increase support for employment, the Partnership has been focusing on facilitating private sector commitments to 1) provide vocational and language skills training; (2) , develop tools that match refugees’ skills with existing employment opportunities; (3) foster entrepreneurial activity via access to capital and seed funding; and (4) create job opportunities for refugees by hiring refugees, procure goods and services from refugee-hiring businesses, and invest in frontline states that will generate jobs for both refugees and their host communities.
Lastly, the Partnership has been supporting commitments that strengthen underlying infrastructure and access to resources that “enable” refugees to go to school and work. It will also facilitate pledges that “enable” countries to take new actions to welcome refugees or allow them to attend school and obtain legal employment. For instance, the Partnership will facilitate commitments to help refugees maintain communications connectivity, including access to wireless services in refugee camps and continuity of mobile services across borders, and gain access to key financial services, and quality, affordable housing.
Why doesn’t this Partnership focus on the basic survival needs of a refugee?
A number of governmental, multilateral, and civil society organizations currently focus on providing refugees with resources to meet their most immediate needs, including safety, nutrition, housing, and health. This Partnership is focused on building upon these efforts by engaging the private sector to catalyze the development and implementation of long-term displacement and resettlement/integration solutions for refugees.
Can the private sector be involved if we are looking to support refugees outside of the areas of education, employment and enablement?
There are many ways that the private sector can get involved in refugee work. While this Partnership is primarily focused on the areas of education, employment, and enablement, we welcome additional discussion about private sector support of the refugee crisis.
Why is private sector involvement needed?
A crisis of this scale requires more than just the support of governments. Drawing on their unique expertise, resources, and entrepreneurial spirit, the private sector has already launched initiatives aimed at helping refugees regain control over their lives and integrate into their new communities. But much more must be done. For this reason, the White House has called on the private sector to make new, measurable and significant commitments that will have a long-term, sustainable impact on refugees residing in countries on the frontlines of this global crisis and in countries of resettlement, like the United States.
How can the private sector get involved?
The private sector can get involved with the Partnership for Refugees by learning more about the global refugee crisis, solidifying the strategic value of their commitment, partnering with one of the many organizations of the refugee support ecosystem, and providing resources while utilizing their own expertise across the three impact areas: education, employment, or enablement. Possible opportunities include providing educational or employment resources such as educational supplies; skills-based trainings; creating career navigation tools and services; providing training and workshops for teachers, etc.
Are there examples of how the private sector is already involved in the global refugee crisis?
Yes, there are numerous examples of how the private sector has gotten involved in the global refugee crisis. Please refer to our Impact Areas page for individual examples.
What is the role of a UN agency or NGO in the Partnership?
The role of UN agencies and NGOs is to share knowledge, data, and best practices about their current programs - as well as identify additional opportunities for private sector involvement in the impact areas of education, employment, and enablement.
How can an NGO apply for funding to this Partnership?
There are not any funding opportunities related to this Partnership. The Partnership is looking to facilitate conversations between the private sector and UN agencies and NGOs in order to ensure that the resulting pledges are substantial and responsive to refugees needs.
Can individuals get involved?
Not at this time. Currently, the Partnership is focused on encouraging private sector engagement, not individuals.
Where can I learn more about the current refugee crisis?
Please visit www.aidrefugees.gov.