Uber and Tech For Refugees Expand Partnership With International Rescue Committee

Uber Credits to be Given to IRC to Provide Transport to Refugees and Support Staff

August 8, 2023 – San Francisco – Uber is expanding its partnership with Tech for Refugees, the $100 million global refugee initiative launched in 2022 by Julia and Yuri Milner in cooperation with major technology partners, and funded by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

Under the Tech for Refugees program, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) will be able to access Uber credits to address refugees’ transport needs as they seek meaningful work, education, and economic opportunities. Existing Tech for Refugees partners include Uber, Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, Spotify, Welcome.US, NeedsMap, UNICEF USA and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) – with which it will be directly collaborating on a program of credits.

For people struggling to resettle in a new country and new communities, with varying degrees of driving experience, language skills and available funds, transportation issues are often a major challenge, whether it’s for meeting basic needs and accessing critical programs and services or working toward employment and self-sufficiency. Moreover, women refugees often face obstacles for car ownership, caretakers may be homebound with children, and refugees may have disabilities that hinder their ability to utilize public transportation. These difficulties have been exacerbated by the unprecedented rate of displacement, the urgency of essential needs for clients, and the increased cost of gas and transportation globally.

Uber credits will also be made available to facilitate the IRC’s own operations. Safe and reliable transportation can serve to bring the IRC’s clients and staff together, which supports their important programs. As the numbers of displaced people rise and the drivers of displacement grow more complex, this partnership supports the IRC in making the greatest possible impact for the people who need it the most.

“Uber’s continued development of its partnership with the Tech for Refugees Initiative is welcome news,” said Yuri Milner, founder of Tech for Refugees. “Their new participation will be a major boost to the IRC’s efforts in support of refugees around the world.”

“The Tech for Refugees commitment will help the International Rescue Committee reach those most in need and ensure access for our clients to reach essential services. Their donation of Uber credits will enable newly arriving refugees with the freedom and ease to move around safely as they rebuild their lives in new communities across our global operations,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC.

“With tens of millions of people displaced worldwide, the refugee crisis is a massive global challenge,” said Julia Paige, Global Head of Social Impact at Uber. “We’re committed to doing what we can to help through removing critical barriers to transportation. We believe this partnership with Tech for Refugees and the IRC will help make a real difference to the lives of people displaced from their homes.”

Launched in April 2022, in response to the refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, Tech for Refugees has since expanded its operations. Its efforts have already had a significant impact, including hundreds of shipments of food, medical supplies and other vital goods, worth tens of millions of dollars, delivered to Ukraine, Pakistan and various countries in the Horn of Africa. The initiative aims to expand its programming through its partnership with the IRC and other global partners, now including Uber.

This partnership builds on Uber’s ongoing efforts to support the people of Ukraine. Since the outbreak of war, Uber has raised over $10 million for Ukraine support via direct grants and charitable donations from riders worldwide. In addition, Uber doubled its footprint in Ukraine providing greater access to transportation, provided more than 330,000 free rides to Ukrainian refugees, displaced families, frontline healthcare workers, and teachers, and has funded 50 critically needed ambulances through the “Keep Ukraine Moving” campaign. Uber also built a customised logistics platform for the World Food Programme and UNHCR that seamlessly handles truck dispatching, delivery routing, and shipment tracking, helping deliver more than 500 truckloads of essential goods, and build a custom version of the Uber app to provide free on-demand rides to cultural and historical sites for teams of conservationists in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the Smithsonian Institution and Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture.

About Uber

Uber’s mission is to create opportunity through movement. We started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get access to a ride at the touch of a button? More than 42 billion trips later, we're building products to get people closer to where they want to be. By changing how people, food, and things move through cities, Uber is a platform that opens up the world to new possibilities.

About the International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives have been shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and rebuild. Founded in 1933, we first helped people fleeing violence and persecution in Europe find safety in the United States.

Today, we work in over 40 crisis-affected countries and 28 U.S. cities, bringing ingenuity, fortitude and optimism to making a lasting impact for the people we serve. We arrive at the onset of crisis and aim to stay as long as we are needed. We also help refugees and other vulnerable people integrate into their new communities across dozens of cities in Europe and the Americas.

The IRC provides health care, helps children learn, and empowers individuals and communities to become self-reliant, always with a focus on the unique needs of women and girls.

About the Breakthrough Prize Foundation

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation is a charitable foundation founded by science philanthropist and technology investor, Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, dedicated to advancing fundamental knowledge, celebrating scientific achievement, and utilizing scientific and technological innovations to improve people’s lives and inspire future generations.

The Foundation’s programs include the Breakthrough Prize, which recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics; the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global video competition for students to inspire creative scientific thinking; and the Breakthrough Initiatives, a suite of science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the Universe.

Most recently, other philanthropic activities of Julia and Yuri Milner have included humanitarian efforts both in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

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