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全球难民危机愈演愈烈,公司都采取什么应对措施?

Grace Donnelly 2017年10月11日

有些公司正在采取措施,帮助这些占全球人口1/122的无家可归者或寻求庇护的人。

全世界正在设法为超过二战纪录的难民群体提供住处并予以照料——联合国难民署的数据显示,被迫离乡背井的人口已达6500万左右。与此同时,美国同意接收的寻求庇护者人数上限则降至1980年以来的最低点。此外,据《华尔街日报》报道,白宫还计划明年再次下调难民接收人数上限。

虽然美国联邦政府在帮助人道主义危机受害者方面变得不那么积极,但全球发展中心强调,有些公司正在采取措施,帮助这些占全球人口1/122的无家可归者或寻求庇护的人。

CGD是一家设在华盛顿的智囊机构,重点研究旨在减少全球贫困和贫富不均现象的政策。

雇佣难民

CGD报告认为,安全和获得体面工作是无家可归者实现自给的主要障碍。

今年1月白宫推出旅行禁令后,星巴克立即承诺将在未来五年内聘用1万名难民。作为此项措施的一部分,该公司和联合国难民署、国际救援委员会以及Tent Foundation展开了合作。星巴克已将缅甸和伊拉克难民作为重点招聘对象,并表示将继续着重聘用在美国军队中担任翻译和支持人员的无家可归者。

宣布此项措施之际,时任星巴克首席执行官的霍华德·舒尔茨在写给员工的备忘录中表示:“长期以来,星巴克一直在全球范围内聘用寻找机会和新生活途径的年轻人。正是出于这个原因,我们做出了两倍于以往的承诺,通过和自营市场员工、合资公司以及授权市场合作伙伴协作,为那些躲避战乱、暴力、迫害和歧视的人们寻找机会,我们要欢迎他们。”

虽然此项决定带来了一些不利影响,但星巴克表示,为雇佣难民付出巨大努力并未对自身品牌产生长期损害。

虽然一些公司可能无法直接大量聘用难民,但它们也可以设法将难民所有的企业纳入自己的供应链。

西夫韦公司约旦分部已经携手美国国际开发署,开始和叙利亚人开设的当地公司做生意。CDG指出,该地区的西夫韦店铺现已成为约旦本国人以及叙利亚难民的就业途径。

针对难民公司投资或采购

联合国难民署表示,去年仅在满足难民基本需求方面就存在31亿美元的预算缺口。要让这个群体实现自立,欠缺的资金更是远远超出这个数字。

CDG报告指出:“跨国投资机构可通过投资于聘用难民和向难民外包的公司、难民所有的中小型企业、公益型企业以及发展效益债券来提高难民的生活水平并获得经济回报。”

CDG报告还认为,难民群体经常为其安置地区带来新的技术。有意着手于此类投资的公司可利用政治风险保险和贷款担保来降低风险。

为难民提供量身定制的产品和服务

CDG报告称,公司还可将难民作为客户。

例如,爱彼迎设立的Open Homes平台就是为了帮助难民找到愿意免费为其提供住处的房东。爱彼迎称,这个项目今年6月在美国、加拿大和希腊启动,现已扩展至法国、意大利、德国和西班牙。在爱彼迎网站上,达拉斯和丹佛的居民介绍了向无家可归者提供住处的情况。

对此,爱彼迎联合创始人乔·杰比亚写道:“我们意识到在五年时间里协助10万难民找到临时住处是个很高的目标,但我们相信,只要携手合作,这个目标绝对可以实现。毕竟,每次我们请求当地居民敞开大门和心扉来帮助别人时,他们做的都会超过我们的预期。”

公司还在和当地组织合作,目的是调整现有产品,以解决难民问题。万事达已经在和援助机构携手开发数字凭证、预付借记卡和移动基金经销网络,以便难民使用他们的金融产品。

万事达总裁兼CEO彭安杰表示:“这些年来,我们用自己的思路和技术帮助几亿人和常规经济建立了联系,并让援助变得更安全、高效。通过扩大业务驱动部门的规模来利用创新、实地经验和长期资本投资,我们可以让糟糕的情况变得好起来。”(财富中文网)

译者:Charlie

审稿:夏林

As the world tries to house and care for a refugee population larger than the record set in World War II — some 65 million people have been forcibly displaced, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees — the cap on the number of asylum seekers allowed to enter the U.S. is the lowest it's been since 1980. What's more, the White House plans to lower the refugee cap again next year, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While the federal government takes a less active role in helping the victims of humanitarian crises, the Center for Global Development is highlighting a few companies have taken steps to help the one in 122 people that are displaced or seeking asylum.

The CGD is a D.C.-based think tank focused on policies to reduce global poverty and inequality.

Hire refugees

Access to safe and decent employment is a major barrier to self-sufficiency for displaced populations, according to the CGD report.

In January, on the heels of the White House's travel ban announcement, Starbucks pledged to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years. As part of their efforts, the company partnered with UNHCR as well as the International Rescue Committee and the Tent Foundation. The company has spotlighted refugees-turned-new hires from Burma and Iraq, and said it plans to continue to focus on hiring displaced people who worked as translators or support people for the U.S. armed forces.

"We have a long history of hiring young people looking for opportunities and a pathway to a new life around the world," Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, wrote in a memo to employees at the time of the announcement. "This is why we are doubling down on this commitment by working with our equity market employees as well as joint venture and licensed market partners in a concerted effort to welcome and seek opportunities for those fleeing war, violence, persecution and discrimination."

Though the company faced a backlash for the decision, Starbucks said it hasn't see any long-term damage to its brand for making a significant effort to employ refugees.

While some organizations may not be able to employ many refugees directly, companies can also look for ways to include refugee-owned businesses in their supply chains.

The Jordanian branch of Safeway, Inc. worked with USAID to start doing business with local Syrian-owned companies. The Safeway stores in the region are now a source of employment opportunities for both Jordanian nationals and Syrian refugees, says CDG.

Invest in and buy from refugee-owned businesses

While the UN refugee agency reported a $3.1 billion budget gap just to meet the basic needs of refugees last year, there’s a significantly larger shortfall for getting these populations set up to support themselves.

"Global investment firms can improve refugee livelihoods and achieve financial returns by investing in companies that hire and source from refugees, refugee-owned small and medium-sized enterprises, social enterprises, and development impact bonds," the CDG report says.

The report also points out that refugee populations often bring new skill-sets with them into the areas where they resettle. Companies interested in getting started with this kind of investing can use political risk insurance and loan guarantees to mitigate risk, said the CDG.

Tailor products and services for refugees

Companies can also engage with refugees as customers, the CDG report says.

For example, Airbnb created an Open Homes platform, which helps connect refugees looking for a place to stay with hosts willing to house them for free. The program, which launched in the U.S., Canada, and Greece in June, has already expanded to France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, according to Airbnb. Hosts from Dallas to Denver have shared what it's like opening their homes to displaced families on the company's website.

"We realize that facilitating temporary housing for 100,000 vulnerable people within five years is an ambitious goal, but we are confident it is absolutely achievable if we work together," Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia wrote about the initiative. "After all, every single time we’ve asked our community to open their doors and hearts to help others, they have more than exceeded our expectations."

Companies have also worked with local groups to modify their existing products to solve problems for refugees. Mastercard partnered with aid organizations to develop digital vouchers, prepaid debit cards, and mobile fund distribution networks that allow refugees to access their financial products.

“Over several years, we’ve applied our thinking and technology to help hundreds of millions connect to the formal economy and to help empower safer and more efficient aid distribution,” said Ajay Banga, president and CEO of Mastercard. “We can have transformational impact by scaling our business-driven organization to leverage innovation, on-the-ground experience and long-term capital investments.”

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