Microsoft Announces Multi-Million Dollar Commitment to Refugees

Company Supports the White House Call to Action with Unprecedented Commitment to Technology Access and Education
Audio: 
Toni Townes-Whitley, CVP of Microsoft

(New York, NY, Friday, September 23, 2016) -  In an unprecedented corporate commitment to technology access and education serving underserved populations, Microsoft announced a multi-million-dollar commitment to technology training for global refugees this week. This announcement is in support of the White House and United Nations Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR) call to action to do more to support refugees.  Microsoft has always supported underserved populations standing firm in the belief that technology can empower great things when within reach and create greater work-ready populations. 

The multi-million-dollar donation will provide support to refugees through technology, programs and partnerships to bring the greatest benefit to refugees and those who serve them. For example:

  • To help address the limited access to resources and education due to refugee displacement, Microsoft is delivering broadband connectivity via TV Whitespaces in Malawi and other remote locations in addition to connecting International and Aid organizations providing relief to refugees.
  • Through Microsoft’s Imagine Academy and in partnership with Pearson Education - delivering opportunities for 20,000 refugees to learn and gain globally-recognized certifications that can reskill and qualify them to pursue in-demand jobs in the technology sector. 
  • Investment in an Innovation Hub where refugees can develop technology, entrepreneurial, and networking skills to help them to start their own business and prepare for employment opportunities in the tech field.
  • In partnership with Mercy Corps, supporting the development of a 12-month program to deliver training, counseling, and psychosocial support to 10,000 refugee and migrant youth to enhance their social and emotional well-being, learning, and employability.

 Over the past 12 months, the global refugee crisis has grown significantly with more than 64 million displaced individuals. In total, this population would make up the 24th biggest country in the world.  With the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimating that in the next decade 77% of jobs will require technology skills, it is critical that all corporations support The White House/UNHCR call to action.

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