The Washington Post: “Yogurt Billionaire’s Solution to World Refugee Crisis: Hire Them”

by Joseph McKeown


Hamdi Ulukaya, the Turkish immigrant who founded Chobani, the best-selling yogurt brand in the United States, argues that the best way to help refugees is to provide them employment. “The number one thing is hiring, a job,” he said in an interview in Bogota, where he met with business leaders and migrants to discuss the humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela that has led to millions of refugees fleeing their home country. “For a refugee, it’s day and night. That’s the point at which they find their life can continue.”

The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the total number of forcibly displaced individuals, including refugees and other migrants, has risen nearly seventy percent over the past ten years to approximately 71 million. Ulukaya, whose net worth is estimated at $1.34 billion, employs refugees at his US plants and has pledged a large portion of his fortune to the charity he founded, Tent Partnership for Refugees. He encourages other business leaders to help solve the global refugee crisis. “It’s good for the companies to be a part of this,” he said in the Washington Post. “Because people five years or 10 years from now are going to question ‘What did you do about this? Why were you not part of this?’”