Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner became a signatory of the Giving Pledge in 2012. After signing the Giving Pledge, the Eureka Manifesto author fulfilled this pledge with his wife Julia by launching several philanthropic projects, like the Breakthrough Prize, Breakthrough Initiatives, and Tech For Refugees.
Tech For Refugees is a non-profit initiative that supports new and existing tech-fuelled programs to improve refugees’ lives. By providing grants for these programs, Tech For Refugees ensures its tech partners, such as Airbnb.org and Flexport.org, have the resources to support people in crisis.
Yuri Milner’s $100 Million Commitment
The outbreak of war in Ukraine inspired Yuri Milner to launch Tech For Refugees and commit $100 million to support the crisis. This commitment also represents part of Yuri Milner’s Giving Pledge to donate his wealth to charitable causes.
These are some of the programs Tech For Refugees has supported with its $100 million seed donation.
The non-profit arm of Airbnb offers temporary accommodation for people living through a humanitarian crisis. With support from Tech For Refugees, Airbnb.org opened up short-term accommodation for around 100,000 refugees.
Flexport.org collaborated with international aid agencies such as Save the Children and Project C.U.R.E. to bring hundreds of aid shipments to 5.3 million Ukrainian refugees.
Spotify granted free Premium service access to Ukrainian refugees. The audio-streaming service also committed to a separate long-term initiative to help the emotional recovery of children affected by war.
Tech For Refugees’ Additional Financial Commitments
Tech For Refugees donated a further $8 million to support Flexport.org., expanding its global scope. The grant will help Flexport.org deliver vital supplies to refugees in Ukraine, the Horn of Africa, and Pakistan.
In February 2023, Tech For Refugees donated another $6 million toward Flexport.org’s programs.
In 2022, Tech For Refugees provided Welcome.US with funding to support Welcome Connect. This platform links U.S. citizens with Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States. Welcome Connect launched on World Refugee Day with its new “Be a Welcomer” campaign.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Tech For Refugees pledged to expand the IRC’s Signpost platform, which helps people navigate humanitarian crises by providing them with timely, accurate information. In 2023, the IRC won a coveted United Nations award for the Signpost project.
Uber And NeedsMap
Tech For Refugees launched a new program in May 2023 with Uber and NeedsMap. The program supplies aid to earthquake victims in Turkey. NeedsMap users in affected regions also receive Uber ride credits, while Uber covers the fees and costs.
The program targets 11 affected cities, including Adana, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya, and Osmaniye.
Learn more about Tech For Refugees.
About Yuri Milner
After signing the Giving Pledge, Yuri Milner set up the Breakthrough Foundation to follow through on his commitment. The Breakthrough Foundation funds various enterprises, including the Breakthrough Prize, Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and Breakthrough Initiatives.
The Breakthrough Prize
The Breakthrough Prize is the world’s largest scientific award, recognizing significant breakthroughs in science and mathematics.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge asks teenagers to create a short, inspiring video about a complex scientific idea. The competition winner receives life-changing educational prizes.
The Breakthrough Initiatives
The Breakthrough Initiatives develop concepts for interstellar travel and aid the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.