Tech for Refugees Initiative and Flexport.Org are Expanding Partnership to Help Refugees in Ukraine, Pakistan, Horn of Africa
$8 million in additional funding from Breakthrough Prize Foundation will support Flexport.org’s work bringing food and supplies to refugees in Ukraine, Pakistan and Horn of Africa
October 20, 2022 – San Francisco – Tech for Refugees Initiative and Flexport.org today announced an expansion of their humanitarian efforts to help refugees, with an increase in current efforts to support refugees from the war in Ukraine, in addition to new funding for emergencies in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa.
The Tech for Refugees initiative, launched in April this year with a commitment of $100 million from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation established by Julia and Yuri Milner, supports technology organisations in their efforts to bring assistance to refugees from Ukraine and countries around the world. Organizations currently partnering with the initiative include Flexport.org, Airbnb.org, Spotify among others.
Flexport.org is the impact arm of digital freight forwarder Flexport. It uses the company’s logistics platform and partnerships with trusted international aid organizations to deliver emergency medical equipment and other critical aid. During the past six months Flexport.org has delivered humanitarian aid to help improve the lives of over 6 million Ukrainians: the organization has coordinated 409 shipments to 6 countries that have taken in Ukrainian refugees, containing millions of pounds of aid including ambulances, hospital beds, hygiene kits, and other emergency supplies.
While the current focus of the program will remain on Ukraine (where more than 7.5 million people have fled the conflict) with $5 million of new funding, help will also be delivered to refugees crises in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa. $2 million will go to Flexport.org’s work in the Horn of Africa, including Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, where there are an estimated 4.6 million refugees and asylum seekers, nearly a sixth of the total global number. The program will deliver food to people displaced by famine – both to aid refugees directly and to those affected to avoid becoming refugees. $1 million will also go to Flexport.org’s efforts to help people fleeing the catastrophic recent flooding in Pakistan, which has compounded an existing refugee emergency for over 1 million people escaping into the country from Afghanistan.
The new funding will be delivered via global grantmaking organization CAF America.
“The refugee crises in Ukraine, as well as globally in places like Pakistan and East Africa, are impacting millions of people,” said Yuri Milner, founder of Tech for Refugees. “We will continue to support the impressive work of Flexport.org and our other partners to make a tangible difference to their lives.”
“The principles behind Tech for Refugees are in lockstep with those of Flexport.org, and the expansion of our work together is an exciting development in the efforts of each organization to help those in need,” said Susy Schöneberg, founder and head of Flexport.org. “The commitment Yuri and the team have shown to aiding those impacted by the conflict in Ukraine and other humanitarian crises is a shining example of what individuals and organizations can do to make a real impact.”
Flexport.org—the impact arm of Flexport—was created to optimize logistics for social and environmental impact, working with trusted international aid agencies and nonprofits to deliver relief supplies wherever they’re needed and helping organizations meet their sustainability goals with greater ease and lower costs. Since 2016, Flexport.org has delivered over 46M lbs of aid to 60+ countries; reached 106M+ people with shipments funded by the Flexport.org Fund; and helped more than 4,000 companies offset their carbon emissions from shipping.
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 Yuri and Julia Milner have included humanitarian efforts both in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
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