American Tech Companies Support Refugees

USA for UNHCR Announces Innovative Partnerships to Raise Awareness and Funds for Refugees

October 6, 2015

Photo credit: UNHCR/Mark Henley

We are excited to announce the launch of three special partnerships with leading technology start-ups in the United States to raise awareness and funds for refugees. The start-ups include Kickstarter, Airbnb and Instacart.

Last week in his speech before the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama challenged Americans to join the global effort to address the refugee crisis.  During his statement the President called on Americans to lend a hand to solving the crisis.

“…this isn’t just about what I can do as President. Every single one of us – from citizens to NGOs – can help refugees find safe haven.”

As part of that call to action, the President launched #AidRefugees and called on U.S. technology companies to help engage their customers. Several leading companies, including Kickstarter, Instacart and Airbnb, have teamed up with us and UNHCR to answer the call. These innovative partnerships aim to inspire Americans from all over the country to donate funds to help refugees as they recover and rebuild their lives.

The donations will be used by UNHCR to support thousands of refugees, providing life-saving assistance including food, water and other basic needs, such as:

  • Tents to shelter families from the elements.
  • Safe, clean accommodation, foster care, and counseling for vulnerable children.
  • Emergency rescue kits for refugee families, including water, food and warm clothes.
  • Sleeping bags and thermal blankets to keep refugee families warm at night.

We are thankful to all of our technology partners and the White House for teaming up to help us raise awareness and funds for refugees.

Why they are doing it

The refugee crisis is a global problem that will require support and resources from both the public and private sector.  There are record global numbers of people fleeing war, conflict and persecution – now close to 60 million people – primarily driven by the Syria crisis.  And refugees are facing food cuts and insufficient critical support services, forcing many to make the dangerous journey to Europe in search of safety.

UNHCR humanitarian workers are working hard in Italy, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Turkey and other countries in Europe to receive and assist the more than 500,000 new refugee arrivals fleeing countries affected by violence and conflict.  At the same time, we continue to provide desperately needed aid and services in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and across Africa where refugees continue to need critical services and basic life-saving aid.

How you can help

You can donate to the project by visiting Kickstarter, Airbnb or Instacart and learn more about the White House’s efforts to aid refugees.