Tech companies answer Obama’s call for help for refugees


The tech industry in the US has risen to render help to the refugee crisis globally. Their leaders are the companies numbering up to 51 that have been raising, donating and investing over $650 million that is required for educating, training and making 6.3 million refugees found in 20 countries to be employed.

According to President Barrack Obama during the Leaders Summit organized by the UN for refugees, Google, HP, TripAdvisor, and Microsoft will aid over 80, 000 refugee children in various camps to have access to education.

From the estimation of UN, in 2015 alone, persecution and conflicts have forced 65.3 million people all over the world to be displaced which is said to be the biggest of such since World War II. Out the 65.3 million people, 21.3 of them were declared refugees. This number, Obama said, caused a heavy burden to be placed on merely 10 countries.

The White House in June launched an initiative calling for the involvement of private sector to which 15 companies including IBM, Google, HP and Microsoft among others yielded to the call. Obama described their action as a gesture of compassion that is extraordinary.

Already Google has made donations amounting to $16.5 million to different aspects of humanitarian support and intends to make another $1 million grant to help children in Lebanon from Syrian refugee to be educated.

On the part of Microsoft, the company is working in partnership with HP to provide wireless broadband and tech training for refugees in camps Malawi, Lebanon and in Jordan. Such training will make them employable in and applicable for visas in other countries to work in.

The accommodation was provided for relief workers by Airbnb in 2015 who are working with UN High Commission for Refugees. Airbnb said it was going to increase the support by making temporary accommodation possible. The move will also create ways for money to be made by means providing such services as hosting local experiences that include preparing Syrian meal.

The head of global disaster relief and response for Airbnb, Kellie Bentz, he said that the company is ever willing and still interested in a partnership for the purpose of providing help and relief.

For Uber, they said they will partner with US resettlement agencies to assist the refugees to assume drivers for its ever ride-hailing service.

The company also said it will connect potential drivers by providing low-risk leases that are affordable with auto discounts. They also created donation campaign called UberGIVING in partnership with French Red Cross and Save the Children foundation in order to provide items like sleeping bags, shoes, and make them available for collection using Uber cars.

Obama appreciated their effort and said it was not just charity, but an act of doing good which promotes business sense.