George Soros writes: The world has been unsettled by a surge in forced migration. Tens of millions of people are on the move, fleeing their home countries in search of a better life abroad. Some are escaping civil war or an oppressive regime; others are forced out by extreme poverty, lured by the possibility of economic advancement for themselves and their families.
Our collective failure to develop and implement effective policies to handle the increased flow has contributed greatly to human misery and political instability — both in countries people are fleeing and in the countries that host them, willingly or not. Migrants are often forced into lives of idle despair, while host countries fail to reap the proven benefit that greater integration could bring.
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.
Recognizing this, the Obama administration recently launched a “Call to Action” asking U.S. companies to play a bigger role in meeting the challenges posed by forced migration. Today, private-sector leaders are assembling at the United Nations to make concrete commitments to help solve the problem.
In response, I have decided to earmark $500 million for investments that specifically address the needs of migrants, refugees and host communities. I will invest in startups, established companies, social-impact initiatives and businesses founded by migrants and refugees themselves. 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. [Continue reading…]