NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor George Soros will partner with Mastercard Inc on a venture they said could help migrants, refugees and others struggling within their communities worldwide to improve their economic and social status.
The partnership, Humanity Ventures, stems from a pledge Soros made in September to earmark up to $500 million for investments to address challenges facing migrants and refugees.
In a joint statement on Thursday, Mastercard and Soros said that despite billions of dollars of humanitarian and development assistance, millions of people remain marginalized, a situation the private sector can help rectify.
“Migrants are often forced into lives of despair in their host communities because they cannot gain access to financial, healthcare and government services,” Soros said.
“Our potential investment in this social enterprise, coupled with Mastercard’s ability to create products that serve vulnerable communities, can show how private capital can play a constructive role in solving social problems,” he added.
Humanity Ventures intends to focus initially on healthcare and education, with a goal of fostering local economic development and entrepreneurship.
With the creation of Humanity Ventures, Soros could invest up to $50 million to make these solutions more scalable and sustainable, and perhaps encourage smaller projects committed to mitigating the migration crisis.