Amid mounting pressure on governments unable to support migrants forced upon them due to refugee deaths and dead infants washed ashore, Google has given a momentum to raise donations to help refugees and migrants.
Last week, Google announced 1 Million Eurosas donation to frontline organizations working on refugee problems in Europe, especially the Syrian migrants. Now the tech giant has upped the ante announcing that it would provide matching donations to the first 5 million Euros to make the total 10 million Euros or $11 million.
In an official blog post by Rita Masoud, a refugee herself from Afghanistan and currently employed by Google, the global company said the donations would be distributed to four non-profits to aid refugees and migrants and they are Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
"These nonprofits are helping deliver essential assistance—including shelter, food and water, and medical care—and looking after the security and rights of people in need," explained Masoud, while appealing for more donations from the public.
Recalling her expereince as a refugee, Masoud said, "My name is Rita Masoud and I am a refugee. I was born in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan. When I was seven, my family and I fled to Europe with our belongings in a single suitcase, hoping for a safer and better future. Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear. Fortunately, we received asylum in the Netherlands, where I grew up in a safe environment and was able to find my way in life. Today, I work for Google in California."
While her story gives hope to many refugees around the world, the fund-raising campaign by Google may give boost to the program but it falls far shorter than what the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said is required to meet the worsening situation in refugee camps around Europe.
Fortunately, European nations have agreed to take 40,000 refugees at their meeting in Brussels last week but Melissa fleming, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a press conference in Geneva: “This is a single welcome step towards addressing the current refugee situation in Europe, but it is clear that much more is still needed."
Since the number is 120,000 refugees, the UNHCR has enormous burden on its shoulders and its High Commissioner António Guterres warned that the EU must move quickly to help solve the crisis.
Beset with severe cuts in life-saving assistance in the neighbouring countries’ refugee camps due to of lack of funding, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) that was forced to cut down on food assistance by 40 per cent, is facing severe constraints now.
So, what Google provides to Europe will be for settlement of the 40,000 refugees who are as lucky as Rita Masoud but there are double that number who are unlucky facing the certainty of poverty and food shortage. Who will take care of them?