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Chobani hosts virtual world refugee forum

The forum focused on the dire situations Afghans and Ukrainians are both facing and how to confront the overall challenges affecting refugees around the world.
Credit: John Mark Krum/KTVB
Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya

BOISE, Idaho — Chobani hosted a world refugee forum Wednesday to address the challenges that are affecting 36 million refugees around the world each day.

The Founder and CEO of Chobani, Hamdi Ukukaya spoke at the event along with Representative Michael Mike McCaul (R-TX), Representative Jason Crow (D-CO), and leaders from the Tent Partnership for Refugees, Razom, and Save the Children. 

The forum took place just one year after the U.S. decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, and six months since the start of Russia's war on Ukraine. Topics focused on the dire situations Afghans and Ukrainians are both facing and how to confront the overall challenges affecting refugees around the world.

Chobani said the purpose of the forum is to bring leaders that are pushing for better government policies together, and create humanitarian support lines and employment pathways for refugees around the globe. 

Policymakers, advocates, and humanitarian agencies joined to discuss social, political and economic challenges that refugees hurdle through, while also looking at the larger implications like the global food crisis.

Chobani hopes the forum will lead to more humanitarian relief and companies will be encouraged to hire more refugees.

The event was held virtually and was free and open to the public.

Chobani has a long history of hiring refugees, going all the way to the company's start; that is still true today. Employees at Chobani have a diverse set of backgrounds, including people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Somalia. 

Chobani also hired people from Bhutan who escaped violent and difficult experiences in their homeland and had to resettle in places like New York and Idaho.  

Ukukaya has been a vocal advocate for refugees and has inspired many people, companies and organizations to hire refugees and help them integrate into new environments.

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