UNHCR launches first-ever partnership platform to streamline private sector engagement

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 15, 2015: UNHCR has launched an online digital platform aimed at significantly enhancing private sector engagement and support for the Syria humanitarian response. The launch comes as the Syria crisis approaches its fourth anniversary, with Syrian refugees become the largest population of concern under UNHCR’s mandate.

The online ‘Partnership Platform’ acts as a one-stop shop for the private sector, offering multiple avenues for engagement, social responsibility and financial or in-kind support. Donors could then help in one of three ways: by purchasing life-saving items for Syrian refugees; offering a direct cash gift via the ‘cash for refugees’ program; or by offering products and services in-kind.

Reinforcing the need for heightened solidarity from the private sector in the Gulf region and beyond, UNHCR’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Director, and Regional Refugee Coordinator for Syria and Iraq, Amin Awad, stressed that “the size, scale and protracted nature of the Syria humanitarian crisis calls not only for more predictable expressions of solidarity from traditional partners but also from non-traditional entities including the private sector.”

“In order for the humanitarian community to be mosteffective, it is absolutely essential that the private sector play a leading role and be part and parcel of the overall response,” he added.

The Platform came as a recommendation of the first high-level roundtable convened by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, ?António Guterres, with various corporate representatives and humanitarian leaders from the Gulf in February last year.

Interested donors can support UNHCR’s transportation ofrelief items, whether by land, air or sea, by donating flight hours and other freight services.

The Platform also allows donors to give cash through the UNHCR ‘cash for refugees’ program in Jordan, where refugees can directly withdraw money through Iris-scan detected ATMs. This program is an effective method of giving, as cash is directly placed in the hands of refugees to spend as deemed necessary, also providing a well-needed injection to the local Jordanian economy.

Commenting on the significance of the Platform to UNHCR, Daniel Endres, UNHCR’s Director for External Relations, asserted, “I am confident that the Platform will significantly improve the way UNHCR engages the corporate sector in the Gulf and beyond in a way that maximizes impact and overall effectiveness.”

“Based on our ongoing discussions with the private sector, our main objective of the website is to provide the private sector with an easily accessible platform which allows interested partners to directly support Syrian refugees by addressing their most urgent needs,” he continued.

“This Platform does not only allows prospective donors to decide how they would like their contribution to be channeled but more importantly, what they would actually like to donate in accordance with their expertise and capacities,” Endres noted.

‘The Partnership Platform’ can be accessed through the following link: http://partnership.unhcr.org


For more information, please contact:

Mohammed Abu Asaker,

Public Information officer,

M: +971506213552,

E: abuasake@unhcr.org

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