Joint Report Finds Significant Economic Benefit Of Assisting Refugees

First-of-its-kind report by OPEN and Tent Foundation demonstrates that humanitarian investment can bring substantial economic dividends

NEW YORK, May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A groundbreaking new international study [] released today by the Tent Foundation and Open Political Economy Network (OPEN) powerfully highlights how accepting refugees and empowering them to succeed in the workforce can lead to significant economic growth, increased productivity and wages, new businesses and jobs, and increased international trade and innovation, among other benefits. Specifically, the study demonstrates how investing a euro in welcoming refugees can yield nearly two in economic benefits within five years.

Released just days before the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, 'Refugees Work: A Humanitarian Investment That Yields Economic Dividends' outlines the many reasons why accepting refugees and enabling them to fully participate in the workforce will have lasting benefits to advanced economies.

Based on a comprehensive literature review and recent data, the report identifies many economic dividends host countries gain by welcoming refugees. These include:

-- Diversity, which stimulates new ideas and technologies, and enhanced
problem-solving abilities due to exposure to varying viewpoints and
-- Dynamism, or refugees' strong disposition toward enterprise and
-- Deftness, or specialized skills that can fill existing gaps in labor
markets and enhance local productivity;
-- Demographics, by which typically young refugees can support the
working-age population and help pay and care for the growing ranks of
retired people; and
-- Demand, or spending on and by refugees that acts like a fiscal stimulus,
catalyzing spending that boosts growth

"Refugees are often seen as a burden to be shared or shirked, when in fact they are an opportunity to be welcomed," said the report's author, Philippe Legrain, Founder of OPEN and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics' European Institute. "With a suitable upfront investment and wise policies, hard-working refugees of all skill levels have a lot to contribute to the economy, individual businesses and the public sector."

"Not only is welcoming refugees the morally just decision, it's also the economically smart one," said Ruma Bose, President of the Tent Foundation. "For more reasons than one, countries that welcome refugees today stand to gain significantly tomorrow. Policymakers should acknowledge the remarkable talents, energy, and dedication of so many fleeing violence and conflict, and appreciate them as the workers, taxpayers, entrepreneurs, and innovators they will one day become."

"This is a truly excellent report which should be read by anyone wishing to be informed on the subject, and particularly by policymakers," said Peter Sutherland, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for International Migration and Development.

The report also makes important policy recommendations that developed-country governments should quickly adopt to improve refugee outcomes and enhance economic benefits. These include:

-- Making it easier for asylum seekers and refugees to start working
-- Allowing asylum seekers the right to be self-employed and to start their
own businesses;
-- Providing resettled refugees with literacy, language, and job skill
training, where necessary;
-- Placing refugees in areas where jobs are available;
-- Streamlining the recognition of foreign credentials and qualifications
and better matching skilled refugees to appropriate jobs; and
-- Vigorously enforcing non-discrimination laws

The full report and its executive summary are available here [].

About OPEN

Open Political Economy Network [] (OPEN) is a campaigning international think-tank (or platform for progress) which creatively harnesses the insights of a diverse international network of thinkers and experts to inform, engage and influence policymakers and global debate on openness issues.

OPEN was founded by Philippe Legrain, a highly respected thinker and communicator. Mr. Legrain was economic adviser to the President of the European Commission and head of the team providing President Barroso with strategic policy advice from 2011 to 2014. He is the author of four critically acclaimed books, notably Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Financial Times Business Book of the Year award.

About TENT

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 Alliance leverages the support, ingenuity and dynamism of the world's businesses to help end the refugee crisis.

The Tent Foundation was established by Hamdi Ulukaya, the Founder and CEO of 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 help end the global refugee crisis. For more information, visit [].

Tent Foundation

CONTACT: Jason Rahlan, Tent Foundation,; FelicityTan, APCO Worldwide,, +1.646.824.5158; ChristinaKaiser, APCO Worldwide,, +1.646.204.3422

Web site:

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