Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. billionaire George Soros and credit card giant Mastercard announced a philanthropic partnership to facilitate the distribution of aid to migrants and refugees across the world.
The new effort, dubbed Humanity Ventures, will combine Soros' focus on the plight of migrants and refugees with Mastercard's work improving access for underprivileged populations to aid groups and financial institutions in their host countries.
Soros recently committed $500 million of his personal fortune toward helping migrant communities. Up to $50 million of that money could go into funding the start of Humanity Ventures, according to a press release.
Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga said giving migrants and refugees the tools necessary to receive aid and begin rebuilding their lives in a new country can be a vital part of integrating into a new society.
"Over several years, we've applied our thinking and technology to help hundreds of millions connect to the formal economy and to help empower safer and more efficient aid distribution," Banga said. "We can have transformational impact by scaling our business-driven organization to leverage innovation, on-the-ground experience and long-term capital investments."
Soros said the partnership will demonstrate how private business and personal philanthropy can combine to address areas of need for the most vulnerable populations in the world.
"Migrants are often forced into lives of despair in their host communities because they cannot gain access to financial, healthcare and government services. 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," Soros said. "Humanity Ventures is intended to be profitable so as to stimulate involvement from other businesspeople. We also hope to establish standards of practice to ensure that investments are not exploitative of the vulnerable communities we intend to serve."