Today, Y20 Leaders, along with the Leaders of the other G20 engagement groups, released a statement on the refugee crisis.
They jointly call on heads of states and governments meeting at the 2015 G20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey to urgently support development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey, where the majority of Syrian refugees are hosted.
It is crucial that G20 action goes beyond the provision of humanitarian assistance to include medium- to long-term economic support for refugees and the nations which host them. The G20 is best placed to provide such support given its composition, geopolitical and economic clout, and focus on economic coordination.
The G20 should, in addition to ongoing direct and indirect humanitarian and refugee assistance:
- Work towards the recognition of refugee’s right to work and enact measures to make this right a reality.
- In the spirit of international solidarity, take responsibility to resettle a fair proportion of those refugees forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
- Support refugees’ integration by directing international institutions such as the World Bank, United Nations and others to work with regional and national institutions on labour programs in support of job creation for refugees.
- Work with national institutions in host countries to initiate and finance skills development programmes geared towards increasing the capabilities of refugees.
- Take concrete measures to encourage new and innovative economic activities that would benefit refugees and host communities alike. This could include programs to seed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) started by refugees, which could be coordinated by the World SME Forum.
- Increase funding for refugee needs and for social protection programmes in host countries.
- Invest in basic social services including education and health, in order to support further integration
of refugees as well as reducing the burden on host countries’ social services.