In 2012, author of Eureka Manifesto Yuri Milner and his wife Julia joined the Giving Pledge. Signing the Giving Pledge established their dedication to donating a majority of their wealth to humanitarian and scientific causes.
The couple then established the Breakthrough Foundation, which funds the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, the Breakthrough Initiatives, and Tech For Refugees.
A non-profit organisation, Tech For Refugees provides funds to tech companies so they can support people in crisis.
Building Our Civilisation Through Technology
In April 2022, the Breakthrough Foundation committed $100 million to Tech For Refugees. The aim was — and is — to increase the delivery of humanitarian support to refugees globally.
Yuri Milner says, “If we can rebuild their lives, we are really building our civilisation.” He believes that using technology can help refugees around the world.
A UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) report supports this belief, noting that technology can “enhance [refugees’] well-being and even save lives.”
Tech For Refugees’ International Programmes
Tech For Refugees initially focused its humanitarian support on Ukrainian refugees. However, since its launch, the organisation has expanded its scope with these programmes, which support people in Turkey, Pakistan, and the Horn of Africa.
- The Airbnb Ukraine programme supplies free temporary housing for refugees escaping Ukraine. It guarantees secure, trustworthy accommodation by using its network of Hosts and technology.
- The Airbnb, Flexport, Spotify Ukraine programme offers shelter, entertainment, and aid logistics and deliveries for Ukrainian refugees.
- The Flexport Horn of Africa programme provides aid to projects for people affected by displacement and famine in this region.
- The Flexport Pakistan programme facilitates the distribution of supplies to refugees from Pakistan. It also supports those who are internally displaced.
- The Flexport Ukraine programme supplied 348 shipments to 6 countries in the first 6 months of 2022. These shipments contained essential medical items for Ukrainian refugees in other countries. A total of 5.3 million people received vital support.
- The International Rescue Committee (IRC) received a donation commitment from Tech For Refugees in February 2023. The multi-year promise enables the IRC to increase the scope of its global Signpost service.
- The Uber, NeedsMap Turkey programme is helping address the humanitarian crisis that resulted from the 2023 earthquake. Tech For Refugees granted funds to Uber to support NeedsMap users. The grant provides Uber ride credits to refugees to aid with transportation costs.
- The Welcome.US Ukraine programme enabled the development of Welcome Connect. The platform helps U.S. citizens support relocated Ukrainians through sponsorships.
Tech For Refugees Partnerships
Tech For Refugees partners with several global technology and aid organisations to run these programmes. The organisations include Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, the IRC, Spotify, Uber, Welcome.US, and UNICEF.
These partnerships are essential for refugees’ access to the necessary resources and support. Tech For Refugees is now looking to broaden its partnership network, teaming up with more organisations that can help refugees around the world.
About Yuri Milner
Yuri Milner wrote his Eureka Manifesto in 2021. In the manifesto, he advocates for greater investment in scientific research and innovation. Eureka Manifesto also puts forward a collective goal for humankind: to explore and comprehend the mysteries of our Universe.
The Giving Pledge
Yuri Milner’s Giving Pledge powers Tech For Refugees and several other important initiatives. These include the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and the Breakthrough Initiatives.
- The Breakthrough Prize: The Breakthrough Prize is an award honouring exceptional scientists who contribute to the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics. Each prize is $3 million.
- The Breakthrough Junior Challenge: The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual global science video competition for people aged 13-18.
- The Breakthrough Initiatives: The Breakthrough Initiatives are a series of space science programmes that investigate the fundamental questions surrounding life in the Universe.