According to the United Nations, 82.5 million people have been forcibly displaced and turned into refugees as a result of war, political unrest, natural disasters or a lack of economic opportunities in 2021.
And now the world is facing a new wave of refugees coming from Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion – to date 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland and sought refuge elsewhere in the world.
In light of this Amazon has launched a new refugee program called Welcome Door. Initially it will be available in the US, but the tech giant plans to expand globally in 2023.
Talking about the new program, Amazon VP of people experience and tech for operations Ofori Agboka commented: “At Amazon, we have a variety of jobs and welcome all kinds of people, and we’re proud to offer enhanced support for refugees around the world.
“Being displaced from your homeland and having to start again somewhere new is challenging and emotional. It is an honor and a privilege to help to make that transition easier and help people start again.
“Across our entire business and at all levels, we’re working with refugees to secure jobs and get the support they need.”
So what support will Welcome Door give to refugees? They will be reimbursed their Employment Authorization Document fees (which cost around $500 every two years), they will have help with applying for US citizenship as well as be updated on any legislative changes that would affect immigration statuses.
In addition, Amazon will be providing refugee employees with free legal resources where they can ask additional questions about their citizenship or immigration status, as well as provide them with English language upskilling and mentors.
Learning and development – particular around college courses – is a core part of Amazon’s HR priorities – any employee who has worked at Amazon for 90 days or more has access to the company’s upskilling initiatives.
Supporting Ukrainians with Tent Partnership
Further to the Welcome Door program, the tech giant has announced it is partnering with Tent Partnership for refugees. As part of this, Amazon has announced a $5 million donation to the UNHCR, and it will also match any employee donations.
But Amazon is not the only employer to make a commitment to support Ukrainian refugees in light of the current conflict with Russia.
Talking about the initiative, Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the Tent Partnership, as well as CEO and founder of Chobani, said: “The refugee crisis isn’t just a problem for governments and nonprofits to solve.
“Businesses have a responsibility to be part of the solution, bringing their innovation, their resources, and their voice to support displaced people around the world.
“More and more companies are realizing that it is our collective duty to stand up for our common humanity – and we must continue to show our compassion and support for all refugees as they restart their new lives.”
The Tent Partnership’s long-term plan is to work with employers to hire Ukrainians and others displaced by conflict to ensure they can support themselves and their families in resettling elsewhere.
We found search results for
- Case Study
- How To Guide
- Product Spotlight
- Roundtable Insights
- Clear filters