Goldman Sachs Joins UN Leaders’ Summit on Refugees

21 SEP 2016

Goldman Sachs participated in a private sector roundtable during the Leaders’ Summit on Refugees held during the United Nations General Assembly on September 20 in New York. Dina Habib Powell, head of Goldman Sachs’ Impact Investing business and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, represented the firm at the forum that was hosted by President Barack Obama and convened leaders of member states that are making new commitments to increase humanitarian funding, admit additional refugees and increase refugees’ access to education and lawful work.

The summit highlighted that the world is facing the largest mass displacement on record since World War II, and that while governments can and must do more to support refugees, solutions to the challenges that refugees face will require contributions from all sectors of society.

Through Goldman Sachs Gives, the firm’s donor-advised fund, Goldman Sachs announced today that the firm is increasing its overall commitment to $7.5 million to support those displaced and vulnerable from the ongoing refugee crisis as a result of the Syrian conflict.

“We are proud of the more than 80 of our firm's partners who made grant recommendations through Goldman Sachs Gives totaling $7.5 million to support those displaced and vulnerable from the ongoing crisis,” said Dina Powell, head of Goldman Sachs' Impact Investing business and president of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. "Through this support, we've been able to partner alongside the White House, UK government, UNHCR, and other key players, to give refugees both the humanitarian aid they need, as well as support as they integrate into new communities and the workforce.”

Through public-private efforts between Goldman Sachs and the UNHCR, as well as nonprofit organizations including Concern Worldwide, Relief International and German Red Cross, the firm’s response has focused on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean region, stabilization in and around refugee camps, and the resettlement of 20,000 Syrian refugees in the United Kingdom. Through Goldman Sachs Gives grants, the firm also provided educational support for 26,000 children in the two main refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey, and provided 3,000 winterization kits to refugees in and around Kobani, Syria.

Looking ahead, Goldman Sachs will continue to work in conjunction with leading nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations to deliver support at various points in refugees’ lives. Focus areas will include delivering humanitarian aid, including food, shelter, urgent medical care and trauma support; providing children with access to consistent education and safe learning facilities; and supporting the integration of refugees in host countries such as in the UK through access to English language resources and employment opportunities.

In addition, Goldman Sachs will create a new online program that will teach entrepreneurial and business skills to prepare refugees to enter the workforce. This initiative builds on the firm’s 10,000 Women program, which provides women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education, mentoring and networking, and access to capital.

This year, Goldman Sachs colleagues also led eight Community TeamWorks projects focused on refugees in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee in New York, Irving and Salt Lake City. Volunteers hosted job readiness and financial literacy workshops supporting refugees from several countries. Colleagues in Frankfurt also helped staff a refugee registration center managed by the German Red Cross.