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16 Oct 2015


Unilever's response

As the crisis in the Middle East continues to escalate, we encourage the wider international community to support those displaced by violence and insecurity.

Over 500,000 refugees have arrived in Europe in 2015[1], and nearly 60million[2] people are displaced by violence globally. Governments, companies and civil society organisations are struggling to find the resources to respond to the needs of refugees.

Unilever have responded to the refugees arriving in Europe by launching an employee matched funding campaign and donating products valued at €280,000. Prior to this, at the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, Unilever supported Save the Children in Jordan with funds, products and expertise valued at €650,000 to help rehabilitate refugees.

Whilst companies can offer significant support, we recognise that sustainable solutions require co-ordination between all sectors of society. One route forward is through employment opportunities.

Unilever, as a global organisation, recognises the importance of diversity to drive growth. We have learnt that bringing cultures together drives innovation and is critical to our success.

Because of the need for sustainable solutions and the value that bringing cultures together creates, we believe that the international community should be working together to identify ways for refugees to enter the formal labour market. Not only will this reduce demands on welfare systems and potential abuses of refugees, it will support economic growth and integration.