In the wake of the civil war currently destroying Syria, thousands of refugees have fled their homes to seek safety in Europe.
That’s why billionaire philanthropist George Soros is contributing $500 million to organizations offering relief for migrants and refugees.
“Governments must play the leading role in addressing this crisis by creating and sustaining adequate physical and social infrastructure for migrants and refugees. But harnessing the power of the private sector is also critical,” George wrote in an essay. “Although my main concern is to help migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, I will be looking for good investment ideas that will benefit migrants all over the world.”
The announcement follows the ‘Call To Action’ initiative launched by President Barack Obama asking private sector businesses to allow more work opportunities for asylum-seekers.
Soros’s contribution, however, has gone above and beyond the average donations made by global governments to the crisis – the investment totals the combined $262 million spent by the UK and the $191 million from the European Union.
“We will seek investments in a variety of sectors, among them emerging digital technology, which seems especially promising as a way to provide solutions to the particular problems that dislocated people often face. Advances in this sector can help people gain access more efficiently to government, legal, financial and health services.”
George Soros is the founder and chairman of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations. Born in Budapest in 1930, he survived the Nazi occupation during World War II and fled communist-dominated Hungary in 1947 for England, where he graduated from the London School of Economics. He then settled in the United States, where he accumulated a large fortune through the international investment fund he founded and managed.
The Open Society Foundations now operates in more than 100 countries, with annual expenditures that reached $835 million in 2011, working to promote the values of open society, human rights, and transparency.