Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani, made a personal pledge of $2 million last week to address the urgent and critical needs of refugees escaping violence along the Iraqi and Syrian borders of Turkey.
Ulukaya is making initial donations to the UNHCR and IRC, which both have longstanding, large-scale humanitarian relief operations in the region. In addition to this support, Ulukaya plans to identify other innovative nongovernmental organizations and support their on-the-ground relief work, including long-term recovery and economic stabilization efforts. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children who are fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq are in urgent need of relief, particularly winter supplies. The most vulnerable people must be given access to relief services without delay.
“We all have a moral responsibility to help innocent victims of violence, wherever they are and however we can,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani. “These refugees have seen the darkest side of humanity and we must open our hearts as they look to rebuild their lives.” Ulukaya added: “As a citizen of the world, I believe we must unite together to bring awareness, attention and relief for victims of human tragedy.”
Said David Milliband, president and CEO of the IRC, “At a time of immense humanitarian catastrophe around the globe, this contribution will provide relief for tens of thousands of people fleeing violence. The IRC helps civilians in need, no matter their race or creed, and with donors like Hamdi, we can help preserve dignity and life for those in great need.”
Anne-Marie Grey, Chief Executive Officer of USA for UNHCR stated that, “Private philanthropists like Hamdi Ulukaya provide leadership to one of the most critical issues facing humanity today. His gift will bring desperately needed supplies for thousands of refugees immediately. We stand ready to work with him and others in bringing hope and dignity to the world humanitarian crises.”
Hamdi Ulukaya is a Kurdish Turk who immigrated to the United States in the 1990s and in 2007 founded Chobani, which quickly grew to become America’s No.1-selling Greek yogurt brand.
About the International Rescue Committee
A global leader in humanitarian assistance, the International Rescue Committee works in 40 countries offering help and hope to refugees and others impacted by violent conflict and disaster. During crises, IRC teams provide health care, shelter, clean water, sanitation, learning programs for children and special aid for women. As emergencies subside, the IRC stays to revive livelihoods and help shattered communities recover and rebuild. Every year, the IRC also helps resettle thousands of refugees admitted into the United States, in 22 cities across the country. A tireless advocate for the most vulnerable, the IRC is committed to restoring hope, dignity and opportunity. For more information about the IRC’s work visit www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on twitter, @theIRC/ @IRCpress.
About USA for UNHCR
USA for UNHCR supports the UN Refugee Agency’s life-saving and life-changing work to help refugees and other displaced people. Together with UNHCR, we strive to meet the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people through education, advocacy and fundraising in the United States. Established by concerned American citizens, USA for UNHCR is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Miami. For more information, visit and follow USA for UNHCR at www.unrefugees.org and@unrefugeeagency.