Tech For Refugees Funds New $6 Million Grant for Flexport.org Humanitarian Relief Programs
New funding to bring assistance to millions of people in Ukraine, Pakistan and the Horn of Africa
February 14, 2023 – San Francisco – 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, today announced a new grant for humanitarian efforts led by its partner, Flexport.org. The $6 million grant will help refugees from Ukraine, Pakistan, and the Horn of Africa, as well as people in crisis zones around the globe, including those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Today’s announcement builds on Tech for Refugees’ partnership with Flexport.org, which began in April 2022. Alongside Tech for Refugees’ partners including Airbnb.org, Spotify, Welcome.US and the International Rescue Committee, Flexport.org has demonstrated how it leverages its technology-enabled logistics network and relationships with trusted international aid organizations to deliver food, medical aid and other humanitarian resources around the world. These efforts are urgent in light of a global refugee crisis of unprecedented scale.
In October 2022, Tech for Refugees and Flexport.org announced an initial grant of $8 million. The grant has had significant global impact; in partnership with 25 aid organizations, Flexport.org delivered 116 full shipments of humanitarian aid worth $50 million, positively impacting the lives of 4 million refugees. About half of those reached by this initial grant were displaced by the war in Ukraine, with 2 million of the country’s refugees receiving 80 shipments, containing $30 million of aid. This included not only food and medical supplies like ambulances and hospital beds, but tens of thousands of essential items including “dignity kits” that enable families to maintain health, hygiene and personal safety in challenging conditions. See more about the impact of this work in the Flexport.org global aid tracker.
The two organizations have also responded to the war in Ukraine’s impact on global food supplies, which has resulted in major delays to grain deliveries bound for the Horn of Africa. Tech for Refugees and Flexport.org delivered 16 full shipments with $10 million of aid to a million people in the region stemming from the additional funding awarded in October. The relief operations began in Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and Eritrea, and expanded to Niger and Democratic Republic of Congo when Flexport.org’s NGO partners on the ground highlighted urgent needs. The aid included Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a scientifically formulated and tested food aid that prevents severe malnutrition and saves the lives of primarily young children.
A similar scale of operations – $10 million of humanitarian aid provided for a million people – was achieved in Pakistan, after the catastrophic flooding that engulfed the region last summer and fall. The deliveries required complex movements of cargo by air, with a focus on supplies needed to build shelters for Afghan refugees fleeing into Pakistan. Related supplies included solar lamps, tents, blankets, water sterilization kits, personal hygiene kits, clean birthing kits, and kitchen sets.
“Flexport.org’s efforts have been truly impressive,” said Yuri Milner, founder of Tech for Refugees. “Julia and I are looking forward to seeing them continue their work in this next phase of the program, helping to alleviate the terrible refugee crisis in Ukraine, the Horn of Africa, Pakistan and other crisis zones around the world, including Turkey and Syria.”
“Our partnership with Tech for Refugees has been crucial, enabling us to reach 4 million refugees since October 2022, ” said Kristen Dohnt, Head of Flexport.org. “We are optimistic that this additional donation will enable us to redouble our efforts and bring vital assistance to many more lives.”
About Tech for Refugees
Tech For Refugees is a non-profit initiative that supports refugee relief efforts through technology. The initiative funds leading tech organizations to use their networks, services, and expertise to make a difference in the lives of refugees from Ukraine and across the world. Current partners include Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, Spotify, Welcome.US, the International Rescue Committee, and others. Tech For Refugees is funded by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation established by Julia and Yuri Milner.
More details can be found at techforrefugees.org.
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 21M pounds of aid to 70+ countries; reached 108 million people with over 1,500 shipments of humanitarian aid funded by the Flexport.org Fund; and helped more than 300 companies offset their carbon emissions from shipping.
About the Breakthrough Prize Foundation
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 space science programs investigating the fundamental questions of life in the Universe.
Most recently, the Foundation has been an active supporter of humanitarian efforts both in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian refugee crisis.
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