President Barack Obama has applauded Google, Microsoft, and various other big companies for the effort they are putting in helping refugees and immigrants settle in the country. In particular, Obama was talking about the effort they have put in helping to resettle the people of Syria who is fleeing from the turmoil that is in their country. In his remarks praising the companies for all they have been doing, he was also launching a new program that would help in bringing up a wider perspective of private sector support for the refugees.
The White House revealed an initiative which was aimed at making some significant and measurable commitments and efforts from the private sector. These measures are being put so that they could help the refugees who have been stranded and who have fled from their homelands for various reasons including wars, global crises, or persecution.
The initiative recognized fifteen companies as the founders of the program. The fifteen companies are those that have already done or are still doing something about helping the refugees. The list of fifteen companies include some highly reputable countries such as HP, IBM, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Airbnb, and the Google branch of Alphabet.
Records from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimate that close to 65 million people fled their homes in 2015 alone, because of various reasons ranging from violence, persecution, and instability. To date that has been the largest number of displaced individuals in one single year since the UNHCR began to collect related data back in 2006. It makes 2015 the worst refugee crisis year on record.
The initiative that the White House has begun has come at a time when the President is preparing for a summit on the refugee crisis at the United Nations Assembly in September. Obama will be hoping that he could influence and encourage for some policies that can improve the education and employment opportunities for refugees worldwide.
The president has been asking American companies to help with the situation and particularly in three areas: education for the young refugees, jobs for them and instant money to get them going and create homes for them.
Close to $33 million was contributed by the large and reputable tech firms including Google, HP, Microsoft, IBM. The companies also went a step further and contributed to software, hardware, and expertise to the nonprofit organizations which have been helping with the refugee crisis. The White House praised the efforts which the companies have put into the crisis.
Airbnb helped by giving aid workers lodging credit, while LinkedIn has set up an initiative in Sweden to help the refugees find work.
The Syrian crisis has led to an increase in the number of refugees flooding Europe. Analysts also say the crisis led to the Brexit vote which saw the Leave campaign win.
The US is expected to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees for this year and also a total of 85,000 refugees.