In 2012, Eureka Manifesto author Yuri Milner and his wife Julia signed the Giving Pledge. In doing so, they joined a movement of philanthropists who offer large-scale funding to charitable causes. The Giving Pledge inspired the Milners to launch a series of non-profit ventures through their Breakthrough Foundation, such as the Breakthrough Initiatives and the Breakthrough Prize.
In 2022, Yuri Milner then created the non-profit Tech For Refugees to support the global refugee crisis.
Tech For Refugees: Supporting Ukrainian Refugees
Yuri Milner advocates that technology can offer significant support to refugees. Technology can be crucial in coordinating food, goods, and medical aid logistics. He launched Tech For Refugees to leverage various technologies to address the unique challenges refugees face.
Tech for Refugees partners with leading global tech enterprises and organisations to run a host of programmes that support its mission. In 2022, the initiative pledged $100 million to its Ukraine programme. The donation helped Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, and Spotify increase their aid to Ukrainian refugees.
- Spotify — Spotify used the donation to offer Ukrainian refugees free access to its Premium service.
- org — Flexport.org invested its Tech For Refugees funding into collaborations with international aid organisations to offer refugees relief. Within 6 months, 348 shipments to 6 countries provided essential relief to 5.3 million people affected by the Ukraine crisis.
- org — The grant extended Airbnb.org’s capacity to support Ukrainian refugees. Airbnb.org provided short-term accommodation for nearly 100,000 refugees. Over 33,000 Airbnb Hosts across 90 countries supported the programme.
Tech For Refugees and Flexport.org
In October 2022, Tech For Refugees revealed that it would grant more funding to Flexport.org. Of the additional $8 million grant:
- $5 million furthered Flexport.org’s work in Ukraine.
- $2 million funded aid for the Horn of Africa.
- $1 million funded flood relief in Pakistan.
In 2023, Tech For Refugees contributed an extra $6 million to support the programme.
Expanding Global Support
Tech For Refugees has also expanded its global support for refugees by funding the following organisations.
The International Rescue Committee (IRC)
In February 2023, Tech For Refugees committed to extending the IRC’s Signpost platform. Thanks to the funding, the IRC has broadened its Signpost programme and now encompasses 10 more areas throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.
Uber And NeedsMap
In May 2023, Tech For Refugees provided funds for Uber and NeedsMap in Turkey to launch a new programme. The initiative offers aid to those affected by the earthquake in 2023. NeedsMap users can access Uber ride credits, while local drivers still receive payments from Uber.
Tech For Refugees collaborated with Welcome.US in 2022 to develop Welcome Connect, a platform linking U.S. citizens with Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States. Welcome.US encourages U.S. citizens to help refugees and become sponsors.
About Yuri Milner
Yuri Milner’s commitment to the Giving Pledge led to the creation of Tech For Refugees and other notable projects, such as the Breakthrough Initiatives, Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and Breakthrough Prize.
- The Breakthrough Initiatives — Listen, Watch, Message, Discuss, and Starshot — are space science programmes. The Breakthrough Initiatives explore fundamental questions about life in the Universe and seek answers to these.
- The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual worldwide video competition for students that encourages innovative scientific thinking.
- The Breakthrough Prize awards $3 million to researchers who have made exceptional discoveries. The Breakthrough Prize rewards scientists in three core categories: Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics.
In 2012, Yuri Milner wrote Eureka Manifesto. In Eureka Manifesto, the Giving Pledge philanthropist calls for more scientific research to deepen our understanding of the Universe. Eureka Manifesto also promotes a common goal and increased investment in science and space exploration.