10,000 Refugees to Learn Coding Skills to Support Middle East’s Digital Economy Refugees Can Increase Countries’ GDP by 1 Percent Over Five Years: IMF

SAP and UNHCR Launch Refugee Code Week to Train Refugees in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey

ISTANBUL, TurkeyMore than 10,000 refugees in the Middle East and Turkey will receive training in coding skills to support the region’s Digital Economy, thanks to a partnership between the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and global technology company SAP have announced at the recent World Humanitarian Summit.

The world is facing the worst refugee crisis since the 1940s, with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey hosting almost 5 million refugees. In response to UNHCR’s call for the private sector to share the burden across these countries, the Refugee Code Week program will run hundreds of free coding workshops and online training courses for youth aged 8-24 from 15-23 October 2016.

Younger participants will learn on the simplified coding platform Scratch. Older participants will learn how to build a website with HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and SQL, along with an introduction to SAP Business One business enterprise software, and potentially a 15-week coding boot camp to become computer engineers ready to be hired. Currently SAP is training teachers for coding, and launching an openSAP platform of online courses.

Refugee Code Week is a core pillar of the SAP Refugee Aid Program, in collaboration with UNHCR, and builds on the success of Africa Code Week 2015, which trained 89,000 youth and thousands of teachers in 17 countries over 10 days.

“Refugee Code Week is a practical example on the role of corporations in impacting the lives of refugees. The global ICT skills will point enormous career opportunities for young refugees. It will be an added value for the refugees themselves and their host communities,” said Houssam Chahin, UNHCR’s Senior Private Sector Partnerships Officer in MENA.

“By empowering everyone in the community – parents, teachers, volunteers, children, universities, schools, and nonprofits – Refugee Code Week is a unique leverage to put IT education at the heart of education programs for refugees. Equipping thousands of young refugees with highly job-relevant skills that will open many doors in their life, beyond that of self-sufficiency,” added Chahin.

Refugee Code Week will be organized by SAP, UNHCR, and partners spanning local governments, non-profit organizations, NGOs, educational institutions, and businesses including the Galway Education Centre and RebootKamp.

“By training young people in high-demand coding skills, Refugee Code Week will provide refugee families with hope for a better future, while creating a pipeline of talent to Middle East companies seeking talented employees. Refugees have the determination and skills to support the region’s Digital Economy competitiveness,” said Alicia Lenze, Head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, SAP.

Demonstrating their economic benefits, successful integration of refugees could increase countries’ GDP by 1 percent by 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund. The Open Political Economy Network shows that one Euro of refugee assistance can deliver two Euros in economic benefits within five years across jobs, trade and investment, and innovation.

For more information, visit the website for Refugee Code Week, or follow on Twitter at @refugeecodeweek

About SAP
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 300,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com. Follow SAP on Twitter: @SAPMENA, @SAPMENANews

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 9,300 people in more than 127 countries continues to help some 54.9 million people.

Media Contacts
Husain Al Tamimi, SAP +971 56 6811641, husain.tamimi@sap.com
Claire McPeak, SAP, +971 4 330 1777, c.mcpeak@sap.com
Steve Baron, Wallis Marketing Consultants, +971 4 275 4100, sap@wallis-mc.com
Mohammed Abu Asaker, UNHCR’s Spokesperson, +971 50 621 3552, abuasake@unhcr.org