London – A renewed partnership launched today by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the Citi Foundation will support 1,300 refugees and vulnerable young people to rebuild their livelihoods, and kick start their economic futures.
Over the past two years, the IRC and the Citi Foundation's Rescuing Futures program has already supported nearly 1,000 young people with business training and start-up grants in Athens in Greece, Amman in Jordan, and Yola in northeast Nigeria.
With the announcement of the new grant, the program will expand to cities in Germany, Lebanon and Cameroon.
There are over 70 million refugees and internally displaced people globally. The highest on record. Not only are millions displaced, they are displaced for longer periods, the majority live in cities rather than camps. In this new humanitarian landscape, earning a reliable income is critical for refugees and vulnerable young people to survive, to rebuild their futures and to contribute to the communities and local economies around them.
David Livingstone, CEO of Citi Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said, "Interventions such as Rescuing Futures provide refugees and vulnerable young people with entrepreneurship and employability training, helping them to rebuild their lives and participate in the economy. Our partnership with the IRC over the past two years has enabled us to play a direct role in assisting refugees in three cities, and we are delighted to expand our efforts to three more countries to reach more young people."
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said: "Over half of refugees are under the age of 18. They are future consumers, talent, and business owners. Crisis and conflict are preventing them from entering the workforce, building new markets, and reaching their full potential. We need long-term partnerships like Rescuing Futures to rise to this challenge. Combining the expertise behind the Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative with the technical and programming expertise of the IRC means we're able to support the workforce of tomorrow."
In addition to training, mentorship and grants, an important part of the program is engaging city and community leaders to boost social cohesion and build bridges to the local labor market. In reality, this means Rescuing Futures will directly support more than 3,000 people to actively engage in local markets and communities.
The expansion of Rescuing Futures follows an event during the 2019 UN General Assembly where Citi joined the IRC and other global business leaders to take a stand for refugees. They called on governments to do more, starting with including refugees in their Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) plans and measurement, and for policies that support economic access for refugees, particularly refugee women.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi.
The Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.
The International Rescue Committee
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.