Tech For Refugees is a non-profit initiative that leverages the power of technology to address the global refugee crisis. The Breakthrough Prize Co-Founder Yuri Milner launched the organisation with his wife Julia last year. The Milners are Giving Pledge signatories who have committed the majority of their wealth to charitable causes.
Over the past year, Tech For Refugees has funded tech organisations that are using their services and expertise to drive refugee relief efforts worldwide. The latest partner to join Tech For Refugees is UNICEF USA, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Yuri Milner’s Giving Pledge
When he joined the Giving Pledge in 2012, Yuri Milner wrote: “In creating the Giving Pledge, Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates have not just encouraged us to invest in problem-solving. They have also brought something approaching the scientific method to philanthropy.”
“This means not just giving, but trying to learn from real-world experience and experiment in order to give effectively.”
Yuri Milner has launched several philanthropic enterprises to give effectively and make a difference in the lives of people everywhere.
One of these enterprises is the Breakthrough Prize, the largest scientific award in the world. Researchers who have made great contributions to science and maths receive Breakthrough Prizes (each Breakthrough Prize is $3 million).
Most recently, Yuri Milner created Tech For Refugees. Moved by the suffering caused by the war in Ukraine, the Milners sought to finance technology-focused programmes. These programmes support refugees and displaced people in crisis areas like Ukraine and Pakistan.
Organisations Working With Tech For Refugees
The following organisations have partnered with Tech For Refugees:
● The International Rescue Committee (IRC).
● UNICEF USA.
In June 2023, Tech For Refugees announced its new partnership with UNICEF USA. A grant from Tech For Refugees will help UNICEF support education programming for young people in Ukraine. The new collaboration will also help UNICEF reach more internally displaced children whose learning has suffered as a result of the war.
Michael Nyenhuis, the CEO of UNICEF USA, tweeted: “Ukraine’s children have lost so much — including, for many, their access to education.” He added that the partnership “will bring critical educational assistance to Ukraine’s youngest generations and protect their futures.”
Improving The Lives of Vulnerable Populations Through Technology
Since launching in 2022, Tech For Refugees has focused mainly on the conflict in Ukraine. The Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, and Spotify Ukraine programmes have provided shelter, deliveries, and entertainment to millions of Ukrainian refugees, respectively.
In addition, the Welcome.US Ukraine programme has empowered U.S. citizens to support Ukrainian refugees through the Welcome Connect platform.
Over the last few months, Tech For Refugees has continued to expand its scope to refugee crises in other global regions.
For instance, a donation from Tech For Refugees has helped the IRC expand Signpost, a community-driven information platform, to new regions in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.
On top of this, Tech For Refugees’ ongoing partnership with Flexport.org has led to many more deliveries of supplies to refugees and internally displaced people in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa.
In May 2023, Tech For Refugees joined forces with Uber and the map-based platform NeedsMap. Thanks to a grant from Tech For Refugees, NeedsMap users in Turkey can buy Uber ride credits. In turn, Uber will cover all the fees and support the costs for all rides taken, with payments going straight to local drivers.
Discover the work of Tech For Refugees and its partners.