The untapped economic potential of Asia’s refugees

Asia is home to 3.5 million refugees. Many find themselves working in fields completely unrelated to their education and professional experience or not working at all. This waste of talent and ability has a significant negative impact on both refugees and the economy. Forward-thinking businesses are now positioning themselves to make the most of this untapped potential using innovative solutions that empower and integrate refugees at the same time as reducing turnover rates, increasing workplace diversity, and instilling trust among stakeholders. Refugees can enable companies to meet labour shortages while also generating local economic growth. Corporate humanitarian action can go far beyond survival and temporary assistance, and can include programmes that promote market-based skills, employment, entrepreneurship, technology support, and ultimately, social integration. Organisations like IRC and HOST can help by collaborating with organisations on long-term solutions for refugees and providing support in optimising investments.