DAVOS-KLOSTERS, Switzerland, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tent Foundation, established by Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of global food-company Chobani, LLC, announced today it is convening a group of leading global companies to focus their resources on addressing and solving the refugee crisis. Among the inaugural partners to the commitment are Airbnb, IKEA Foundation, LinkedIn, MasterCard, UPS, and Western Union with a plan to unveil up to 100 partners by mid-2016.
In conjunction with the Pledge, Tent is also announcing that it plans to award up to 20 rapid-impact grants totaling at least US$1 million to groups and individuals addressing the growing refugee crisis across Europe, the Middle East and beyond.
"If we're going to give hope and opportunity to the more than 60 million refugees around the world, it must come from more than just governments and NGOs," said Ulukaya. "Businesses and innovators have a critical role to play, and I'm so proud that some of the largest organizations in the world have joined us on our mission to rethink how we're addressing this crisis. This is more than aid. This is a commitment to invest in building our global capacity for meaningful, humanitarian change."
Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, added: "I look forward to working in partnership with the Tent Foundation to nurture and leverage the skills and resources of an ever-growing number of companies responding to the refugee crisis. In signing the Tent Pledge, we are also committing to encourage fellow business leaders to do more to respond."
Antonio Guterres, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, also added: "It is inspiring to see the private sector taking the lead in empowering innovators to achieve their fullest potential in assisting refugees. I look forward to seeing Tent and its partners speed up the time it takes for UNHCR to intervene, not only in immediate relief, but by also supporting long-term capacity-building, policies and attitudes that benefit refugees as well as host countries."
In partnership with governments and humanitarian agencies, the Tent Foundation aims to end the challenges faced by the 60 million people displaced worldwide. By applying an entrepreneurial mindset to the refugee challenge and catalyzing cross-sector innovation, Tent is encouraging the private sector to harness and mobilize its ingenuity, resources and enterprising spirit to strengthen the humanitarian response system and help end the refugee crisis.
About the Tent Pledge
Through the Tent Pledge, business leaders around the world are committing to continue measurable actions that leverage their resources to elevate the lives of refugees and their host communities through one or more of the following activities:
- Direct giving or provision of services and in-kind materials – such as relief goods, logistical and legal services and internet access – that humanitarian experts have identified as most needed in camps, crisis zones and temporary or resettled communities.
- Generating employment opportunities for refugees, including skills and language training for refugees and at-risk host communities.
- Shaping supply chains by incentivizing partners to source products and services from companies that employ refugees and their host communities, or support refugee causes.
The first signatories of the Tent Pledge represent a spectrum of industries and regions and will be formally unveiled at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting on 20 January, 2016.
About the Tent Challenge
In an effort to spur innovation and scale groundbreaking solutions, the Tent Challenge aims to quickly disburse funding to groups on the frontlines of the crisis and those who are working to inform policy and improved public understanding of refugees. Tent will award up to $50,000 rapid-impact grants to groups and individuals addressing the following areas:
- Immediate relief operations;
- Innovations in relief work with future potential to be taken to greater scale, including innovations in refugee processing;
- Efforts to improve livelihoods for refugees, the displaced and their surrounding communities;
- Original analysis or research that will shape more effective policies related to forced displacement; and,
- Creative efforts to foster an improved public understanding of refugees and the internally displaced.
Successful projects will be considered for further funding to be brought to scale.
Tent is evaluating applications submitted on www.tent.org on a rolling basis.
About The Tent Foundation
The Tent Foundation seeks to improve the lives and livelihoods of the 60 million people who have been forcibly displaced around the globe. The Tent Foundation does this by funding direct assistance, investing in innovation, and promoting policies and partnerships to help the displaced realize their full potential.
The Tent foundation was established by Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of yogurt company Chobani and an active donor to humanitarian organizations. Mr. Ulukaya launched the Tent Foundation to aid refugees and to end displacement everywhere. In 2015, he became an Eminent Advocate for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and joined the giving pledge, committing the majority of his wealth to ending this humanitarian crisis.
SOURCE Tent Foundation