Yuri Milner’s Tech For Refugees and Uber Expand Their Partnership

by | Jan 4, 2024 | World Featured

Uber has expanded its partnership with the innovative non-profit Tech For Refugees. The ride-hailing and food delivery company first teamed up with Tech For Refugees in May 2023 to launch a programme offering transport to earthquake victims in Turkey.

Tech For Refugees collaborates with major technology partners like Airbnb.org and Flexport.org to provide practical aid for people living in turmoil beyond their homeland. Julia and Yuri Milner launched the $100 million worldwide refugee initiative in 2022.

Supporting The IRC’s Vital Efforts

Tech For Refugees has helped Uber support refugees and displaced people with essential transport for several months. In August 2023, the tech partners announced a new programme focused on aiding the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Founded in 1933, the IRC helps people who are trying to survive, recover, and rebuild their lives after conflict and disaster. The organisation works in more than 40 crisis-affected countries and 28 cities in the United States.

Tech For Refugees helped support the IRC in developing its Signpost project, which won a prestigious Connect award at the 2023 United Nations SDG Action Awards. Signpost has provided millions of refugees with the vital information they need to make life-saving decisions.

Under the new Tech For Refugees programme, Uber offers ride credits to IRC staff and clients. Addressing refugees’ transport needs helps individuals access work, education, and economic opportunities. The IRC can also access Uber ride credits to facilitate its operations and staff travel needs.

Uber And Tech For Refugees: Transforming Lives Through Transport

Safe, reliable travel is integral to helping refugees resettle in new countries and communities. Refugees often experience transportation issues due to varying levels of driving experience, funds, and language skills. Women in particular can experience barriers to car ownership. On top of this, parents caring for children may feel pressure to stay at home. Moreover, refugees with disabilities might face difficulties using public transport.

The Uber and Tech For Refugees partnership is more important than ever, as the number of displaced people and the price of fuel are both increasing. The programme continues to bring together the IRC’s clients and staff, helping the organisation carry out its important work.

Milner said the ongoing partnership with Uber will “be a major boost to the IRC’s efforts in support of refugees around the world.”

Why Julia and Yuri Milner Created Tech For Refugees

Julia and Yuri Milner support several large-scale philanthropic projects through their Breakthrough Foundation. For more than a decade, the organisation has donated to various scientific and humanitarian causes.

The Milners created Tech For Refugees after the war in Ukraine escalated in 2022. The ongoing conflict has deeply impacted the couple, who have always felt moved by the plight of refugees. Milner has a personal connection to the crisis as his father’s family is Ukrainian.

In 2021, Milner wrote Eureka Manifesto: The Mission for Our Civilisation. The short book explores his conviction that humanity needs a shared mission for us all to thrive. He suggests this mission could be to explore and understand our Universe.

The belief Milner expresses in Eureka Manifesto — that we should champion science and technology as drivers of human progress — chimes with his aim for Tech For Refugees. The initiative continues to provide critical assistance for refugees through the power of technology.

Learn more about Tech For Refugees’ programmes.

About Julia and Yuri Milner

Julia and Yuri Milner signed the Giving Pledge in 2012. The couple promised to give away most of their wealth in support of scientific causes. Through their Breakthrough Foundation, the Milners have helped set up and fund science-focused projects like the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Initiatives, and the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.

The Breakthrough Prize rewards major advances in physics, maths, and the life sciences. Meanwhile, the Breakthrough Initiatives further fundamental research in areas like space exploration and astrobiology. Finally, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual video competition for students worldwide to inspire creative thinking about important scientific ideas.

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