A global initiative that supports refugee relief efforts has made a multi-year commitment to the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Established in 2022 by Julia and Yuri Milner, Tech For Refugees will back the IRC’s growing Signpost platform. This tech-enabled “HelpDesk” provides essential information and support for refugees and displaced populations.
Tech For Refugees cooperates with technology partners to provide critical assistance for refugees. These partners include big names like Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, and Spotify. The initiative receives funding from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, a philanthropic organisation established to help realise the Milners’ Giving Pledge commitments.
The IRC’s Signpost Platform
The IRC operates in more than 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities. The Committee helps people who are living through humanitarian crises survive, recover, and rebuild.
In 2015, along with Mercy Corps, the IRC founded Signpost. This initiative brings user-friendly, accurate, and timely information into the hands of those who need it most.
The IRC’s Signpost project is the first of its kind to address the major problems surrounding information in the aid sector. These issues include low prioritisation, lack of trust, and poor coordination and quality.
Signpost leverages evidence-based programming, cutting-edge technology, and an array of partnerships. This way, Signpost ensures its programmes create the greatest impact on humanitarian efforts.
The project’s teams of community liaisons research and distribute key information through digital tools and portals.
Expanding Signpost’s Global Presence
So far, Signpost has brought information products to 36 million people worldwide. Its many programmes work in over 18 countries, including Tanzania, Burundi, Pakistan, the U.S., Kenya, Iraq, Greece, Colombia, and Ukraine.
Now, Tech For Refugees’ three-year commitment will allow the IRC to accelerate the adoption of Signpost in 10 additional locations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Americas.
David Miliband, the president and CEO of the IRC, states that millions more displaced people around the world will receive vital information resources. They will receive these resources thanks to funding from Tech For Refugees and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.
Innovative Tech Solutions to Aid Refugees
The global humanitarian crisis is at an unprecedented level, with more than 100 million people forcibly displaced and an estimated 340 million needing aid in 2023.
Miliband says the IRC must embrace new approaches to tackle this crisis. The timely financial support from Tech For Refugees will establish new benchmarks for providing information and support to individuals seeking safety.
According to the Breakthrough Prize Foundation founder Yuri Milner, the scale of the global refugee crisis demands innovative solutions. He adds that Tech For Refugees is pleased to partner with the IRC to introduce advanced technological tools. These tools can aid millions of individuals and families as they rebuild their lives.
Other organisations in the technology space have also got involved with Tech Refugees to assist refugees around the world.
About Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Prize Foundation
The Breakthrough Foundation began in 2012 after Julia and Yuri Milner joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Melinda Gates’ Giving Pledge. In joining the Giving Pledge, signatories make a philanthropic commitment to help tackle the world’s most pressing problems.
As the Milners’ Giving Pledge focuses on scientific causes, the Breakthrough Foundation funds several projects related to science and scientists. These projects include the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and the Breakthrough Initiatives.
Recently, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation has turned its attention to humanitarian efforts around the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crises. This has included launching Tech For Refugees and providing support to Ukrainian scientists and refugees.
Learn more about Yuri Milner’s philanthropic efforts to address the global refugee crisis.
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