Early tech partners of the ‘Tech for Refugees’ initiative include Airbnb.org, Flexport.org and Spotify

Donation of seeds from $100 million Breakthrough Prize Foundation Pledge Created by Yuri and Julia Milner

The initiative will help partners support refugee and humanitarian programs in Ukraine And in the world

SAN FRANCISCO , April 28, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, some of the leading technology companies and organizations, including Airbnb.org, Flexport.org and Spotify, as well as the Breakthrough Prize Foundation created by Yuri and Julia Milnerannounced the launch of Technology for refugees Initiative. The new initiative will strengthen efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees around the world. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s initial commitment is $100 millionthe majority of which will be used to support civilians fleeing Ukraineas a first step towards extending the initiative to other regions.

Coordinated international assistance for refugees is urgently needed, given the ongoing human tragedy created by the war in Ukraine and a global refugee crisis that has reached historic proportions.

Global crisis, disaster in Ukraine

According to the UN Refugee Agency, the number of people worldwide forced to flee their homes has more than doubled since 1990, to at least 84 million people, or 1 in 95 people on the planet. Among them, more than 26 million are refugees seeking safety in foreign countries.

Since the crisis of Ukraine began in late February, more than 5 million people, mostly women and children, were forced to flee the country, the largest and fastest displacement of people in Europe since World War II. In addition to the physical and emotional trauma of war, death and the absence of loved ones, many refugees now urgently need shelter, food and other basic necessities.

Technology for refugees is inspired by Stand with Ukraine GoFundMe campaign launched by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher in March, which has so far garnered almost $36 million for refugees fleeing war in Ukraineincluding $5.5 million from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation and DST Global.

Technology for refugees

The new initiative will leverage the expertise and networks of leading technology companies and organizations to make a difference in the lives of refugees from Ukraine and across the world.

  • Airbnb.org, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides free short-term housing to up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine, leveraging the network of hosts, technology and Airbnb’s trust and security infrastructure.
  • Flexport.org, the impact arm of digital freight forwarder Flexport, uses the company’s logistics platform and partnerships with trusted international aid organizations to provide hospital beds, emergency medical supplies and other essential aids. It has already delivered more than 880,000 pounds (or twenty-two full Boeing 737s) of essential aid like hospital beds and medical supplies to Ukrainian refugees.
  • Spotify Premium will be offered free to Ukrainian refugees, and Spotify will separately embark on a multi-year effort to use the power of music and audio to support the healing of war-affected children.

Technology for refugees aims to both support existing humanitarian programs and fund new programs that provide much-needed assistance to refugees. This initiative is open to new technology partners and new ideas for programs to address the global refugee crisis.

“Right now, we all have to ask ourselves, ‘How can we help?’ “We are grateful for the generosity of the Yuri and Julia Milner Foundation and their Tech for Refugees initiative. Their support will help Airbnb.org continue to provide housing for as many refugees as possible,” said Brian Cheskyco-founder and CEO of Airbnb.

“We are honored to join the Tech for Refugees initiative with Airbnb and Spotify,” added ryan peterson, founder and CEO of Flexport. “The Breakthrough Prize Foundation’s support will allow Flexport.org to help relief organizations meet one of their toughest challenges: getting the right products to the right place at the right time.”

“In times of crisis, music has the power to comfort, uplift and bring people together. This initiative will allow Ukrainian refugees around the world to access the power of audio and the shared human experiences it creates,” said Daniel Eckco-founder and CEO of Spotify.

Yuri and Julia Milner said: “We have been devastated by the heartbreaking suffering of the Ukrainian people. We believe this initiative, in partnership with some of the world’s most creative tech companies and organizations, can provide practical assistance to people living in turmoil outside their homelands.

About Airbnb.org

Airbnb.org is a nonprofit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in times of crisis around the world. Airbnb.org operates independently and leverages Airbnb, Inc.’s technology, services, and other resources free of charge to further Airbnb.org’s charitable purpose. The inspiration for Airbnb.org began in 2012 with a single host named Shell who opened her home to people affected by Hurricane Sandy. It sparked a movement and marked the beginning of a program that allows hosts on Airbnb to offer stays to those in need. Since then, the program has evolved to focus on emergency response and to help provide stays for evacuees, aid workers, refugees, asylum seekers and frontline workers fighting the spread of the virus. COVID-19. Since then, the hosts have offered to open their homes and helped provide accommodation for 100,000 people in times of need. Airbnb.org is a separate and independent entity from Airbnb, Inc.

About Flexport.org

Flexport.org – the impact arm of Flexport – was created to optimize logistics for social and environmental impact, working with international aid agencies and trusted nonprofits to deliver relief supplies where they are needed and help organizations achieve their sustainability goals with greater ease and less expense. Since 2016, Flexport.org has delivered over 16M help books for more than 60 countries; reaches more than 100 million people with shipments funded by the Flexport.org fund; and helped over 300 companies offset their carbon emissions from shipping.

About Spotify

Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service with a community of 406 million monthly active users and 180 million Premium subscribers. With a presence in 184 markets and over 82 million tracks, including over 3.6 million podcast titles, it has transformed the way people access and enjoy music and podcasts.

About the Breakthrough Prize Foundation

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a charitable foundation founded by a scientific philanthropist and technology investor, Yuri Milner (yurimilner.com) and his wife Julia, who are dedicated to advancing fundamental knowledge, celebrating scientific achievement, and using scientific and technological innovation to improve people’s lives and inspire future generations.

Foundation programs include the Breakthrough Prize (pricebreakthrough.org), which rewards the world’s best scientists in the fields of life sciences, fundamental physics and mathematics; the Junior Breakthrough Challenge (breakthroughjuniochallenge.org), an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative scientific thinking; and revolutionary initiatives (breakthroughinitiatives.org), a suite of space science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the Universe.

More recently, other philanthropic activities of Yuri and Julia Milner have included humanitarian efforts related to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

SOURCE Tech for Refugees

For further information: For media inquiries regarding the Tech For Refugees initiative, please contact: Website: TechForRefugees.org, Rubenstein Communications, Inc., New York, New York, Janet Wootten, [email protected] / +1-212 -843-8024, Kristen Bothwell, [email protected] / +1-212-843-9227

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