The Strategist

European refugees will get help with their startups and education

09/20/2016 - 15:03

American billionaire George Soros is going to invest $ 500 million in start-ups and social projects founded by refugees and migrants.

Gémes Sándor/SzomSzed,
Gémes Sándor/SzomSzed,
He wrote in a column in The Wall Street Journal: "I'm going to invest in start-ups, established companies, socially significant initiatives and business projects created by migrants and refugees. My main task is to help migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, but I will look for good investment ideas that will bring benefits to migrants in the world", - Soros wrote.

Soros called the digital technology a particularly promising area for investment. According to him, the technology can provide migrants and refugees with easier access to the authorities, legal, financial and medical services.

Soros said that the plan is answer to the White House’s call which asked upon American companies to take a more active part in solving problems related to forced migration. Harnessing power of the private sector is important in resolution of the refugee crisis. However, the authorities should still take the leading initiative and create appropriate infrastructure for arriving people, the billionaire said.

The financier also said that, in addition to the promise to invest $ 500 million in refugee projects, he continues to make donations through charities controlled by him.

Earlier this spring, Soros said that the EU needs about € 30 billion a year to provide Turkey and other "frontline" states with sufficient funding. The money would allow these countries to keep refugees in adequate conditions. According to the billionaire, money can be taken from existing specialized funds such as the European Stability Mechanism, or the authorities could create a similar structure. He also suggested introducing new taxes to restore the balance - for example, a special tax on gasoline or duties on entering the EU.

Meanwhile, the German government is going to propose an education programs for refugees, provided that they then return to the country where they came from. This suggestion came from Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany Gerd Müller in an interview with Welt.

"Objective of the program is to make possible voluntary return of refugees to countries where they came from," - said Müller. The Minister noted that "many of the migrants do not have a hope for recognition in Germany since the process of obtaining refugee status lasts up to two years or more." According to him, they are not allowed to work during this time, so they sit around and get depressed. Such people will be asked to voluntary return home after training on locksmithing, plumbing, electrical engineering or bricklaying.  

"The first phase of the program will require € 100 million euro. It will cover a number of countries, including Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal", - said Müller. Welt notes that € 25 million have already been allocated to the program. 

The minister noted that even deported refugees will receive assistance. "We need to become aware of the situation in those countries where the refugees are arriving. Morocco or Pakistan; we are introducing educational programs and programs for employment everywhere. We will not leave anyone without assistance" - he said. Müller believes that such programs would reduce number of refugees seeking to get to Germany.

Among other things, Germany will provide financial assistance to six thousand Syrian teachers working in Turkey with children of Syrian refugees.