(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Thursday called on U.S. companies to assist refugees caught in a global refugee crisis in which 65 million people have been displaced, many of them by violent conflicts.
The administration is seeking help from the private sector with education, employment and the enablement of refugees to be independent, the White House said in a statement.
Fifteen founding companies have been recognized by the administration for taking on significant commitments to help refugees.
They include Accenture, Airbnb, Chobani, Coursera, Goldman Sachs, Google, HP, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and LinkedIn.
The others are Microsoft, MasterCard, UPS, TripAdvisor, and Western Union.
The United Nations Refugee Agency said that of the total number of displaced persons, 21 million have crossed international borders and have registered as refugees. The United States government plans to accept 85,000 this year, according to a White House fact sheet.
Some prominent Republicans, including presidential candidate Donald Trump have criticized President Barack Obama’s steps to bring refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan into the United States, citing security concerns.
On Sept. 20, Obama is scheduled to host the Leader’s Summit on Refugees at the UN for countries committed to making significant commitments to the UN’s calls for humanitarian assistance.
Examples of U.S. companies helping refugees include Airbnb partnering with aid organizations to provide their workers with travel credits to book accommodation as they respond to humanitarian crises.
Social networking service LinkedIn launched an initiative in Sweden to help match employers with refugees seeking work in the country.
And yogurt maker Chobani has been working with refugee centers in New York state to hire local refugees. Nearly 30 percent of the company’s manufacturing workforce consists of resettled refugees, according to the firm.
Reporting by Kouichi Shirayanagi; Editing by Andrew Hay