My letter to newspaper editors to mark World Refugee Day.

Dear Editor,

We have just marked World Refugee Day organised by the United Nations Organisation (

It’s a time to remember that before anything else, refugees are people – fathers, mothers, sisters, cousins, and friends.

Some people mistakenly think they are all waiting for humanitarian agencies to create opportunities for them. In fact want to create their own.

Given encouragement, they can create employment for themselves and in some instances for their host country nationals as well.

Despite significant hardships, refugees are pushing the limits of what most people recognise as the general entrepreneur spirit. There is a resilience among refugee communities that enables them to be creative members of society.

The trick is getting them the help and finance they need not just to survive but to thrive.

That is why I am examining ways that crowd-funding and other non-traditional channels of seed corn cash can be directed towards refugee camps in the Middle East.

If investment is to have a social purpose, let’s target to where it is really needed.

Syed Kamall, MEP for London
Leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group

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