Frank Giustra
The donation is expected to go directly towards the Refugee Hub’s global refugee sponsorship program. Image: University of Ottawa/Provided
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The latest donation brings the total amount of donations from the foundation to over $1.5 million

The University of Ottawa’s Refugee Hub received a hefty donation aimed at their initiative to support refugee resettlement. 

A total of $250,000 will be provided by Canadian businessman and global philanthropist Frank Giustra through his non-for profit, the Giustra Foundation, which also happens to be a one of the programs founding partners.

According to professor Jennifer Bond, the managing director of the Refugee Hub and chair of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), the donation is expected to go directly towards the Refugee Hub’s global refugee sponsorship program.

“They [Giustra Foundation] helped us launch this initiative, and they’ve been a really critical partner ever since,” said Bond. 

“They’re really committed to finding new and innovative ways of not only protecting people in the short term, but of changing the systems and making the systems better, so that more people can be protected in the longer term.”

The GRSI works on the development and implementation of various sponsorship programs around the world, with a specific focus on the United States. 

The five-year relationship between the Refugee Hub and the Giustra Foundation has had a large impact on the organization’s initiatives.

Since 2016, the Giustra Foundation has given more than $1.5 million to the Refugee Hub through various donations. 

In addition to being a generous donor, the foundation has also become “an important strategic partner” for the Refugee Hub when it comes to global sponsorship programs. 

Despite the hardships and setbacks that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for refugees around the world, Bond believes that now is the perfect time to “innovate and build better systems.” 

Giustra’s personal interest in refugee issues came up in 2015: “The urgency of this work became clear to me in 2015 while doing humanitarian work in Lesvos, Greece, at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis. Seeing the needs of refugee children there, and thinking about my own children, I knew we needed to be part of the solution,” he wrote in the press release

“As more countries continue to take up this successful [model], they are empowering communities to offer safety and security to many more refugees, and it’s a privilege to be a partner in that effort.”