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George Soros pledges up to $500 million to help refugees

Jewish billionaire seeks ‘good investment ideas’ that ‘truly benefit migrants and host communities’

A dinghy carrying refugees arrives at a beach on the island of Lesbos in northern Greece. (Boaz Arad/IsraAid via JTA)
A dinghy carrying refugees arrives at a beach on the island of Lesbos in northern Greece. (Boaz Arad/IsraAid via JTA)

Jewish billionaire George Soros has pledged to invest up to $500 million to help refugees and migrants around the world.

“We will invest in startups, established companies, social impact initiatives, and businesses started by migrants and refugees themselves,” Soros said in a statement Tuesday that was published in The Wall Street Journal.

“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,” he wrote.

All of the investments will be owned by Soros’s nonprofit organizations, the Open Society Foundations.

The investments, he said, “are intended to be successful — because I want to show how private capital can play a constructive role helping migrants.”

George Soros speaks at the Festival of Economics in Trento, Italy in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons, Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 3.0)
George Soros speaks at the Festival of Economics in Trento, Italy in 2012. (Wikimedia Commons, Niccolò Caranti, CC BY-SA 3.0)

“As longtime champions of civil society, we will be focused on ensuring that our investments lead to products and services that truly benefit migrants and host communities,” Soros also said.

He said he would work closely with organizations such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee to establish appropriate principles for the project’s investment guidelines.

Soros made the announcement following the first UN summit on migrants and refugees.

He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, a $25 billion company.

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