ESG brief on refugee crisis in the Middle East to shape private sector partnerships

September 20, New York – With a presentation at the high-level Concordia Summit in New York today, which seeks innovative ways to enhance the private sector’s role in addressing global migration challenges, Earth Security Group (ESG) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), have released a strategic report to define how international efforts should engage with the private sector for sustainable solutions.

The report, which can be accessed here, highlights eight social and environmental pressures that threaten to derail economic and political stability in the Middle East, in countries where the impact of forced displacement from Syria is being felt the most, unless a more systemic, long-term approach is taken. It also offers conclusions and messages that are globally applicable and could play a role in the implementation of the political declaration adopted at the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants yesterday.

SDC Assistant Director General, Ambassador Pio Wennubst said: “By the end of 2015 more than 65 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide, either internally or across international borders. Fulfilling our promise in the 2030 Agenda to leave no-one behind, implies finding durable solutions for the affected populations. The report formulates practical recommendations to this objective and highlights ways to improve the interaction between public and private actors committed to change the future of displaced persons and host communities.”

The report’s case study of Jordan illustrates the necessary focus on building sustainable solutions to combat social and resource pressures. Opportunity areas are highlighted within water, energy and housing – three critical priorities for Jordan, offering solutions for public actors to work with the private sector. The report also brings into focus the significant implications of forced displacement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and how international efforts to address humanity’s development will be transformed by these pressures.

During the report’s release, ESG Chief Executive Officer, Alejandro Litovsky commented: ‘The daily media coverage of the refugee crisis today is too focused on fear and negativity. We have taken a different perspective. We show that there is a positive path of entrepreneurial and private sector solutions that addresses the displacement crisis in vulnerable countries by encouraging a deeper social and economic transformation towards sustainable development.’

About Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is an office-level agency in the federal administration of Switzerland, and a part of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Together with other federal offices, SDC is responsible for overall coordination of Swiss international development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as humanitarian aid.