Humanitarian Tech Offers Hand in Syrian Refugee Crisis

women and children syrian refugee crisis
Written by David Michaelis

Food and Internet are needed equally in the Syrian refugee crisis. Big tech like Google and Facebook lend a hand in the international situation.

aNewDomaindavid michaelis why tech companies scare me — In humanitarian disasters people affected by the unfolding tragedy need more than physical necessities: they also have an urgent need for information. From earthquakes to armed conflicts, survival can depend on knowing the answers to questions.

How long will it take to get to Germany? What are the best roads? Should I stay with my family or go elsewhere for help? What is the extent of the damage? Where can I get clean water and food? What are the symptoms of chemical attack? Where is the nearest health facility?

Syrian refugees ask each of the above questions, and the answers are paramount to their survival. Sometimes, smartphones and an Internet connection in a refugee camp are more important than the next meal. Especially when ISIS is waiting around the corner.

The video below shows exactly what Syrian refugees are searching for now, and how the Internet — and increased access to it — will help those in need.

Video: Top Google Searches Coming From Syria

Facebook Lends A Hand

zaatri camp syrian refugee crisisMark Zuckerberg of Facebook recently announced that he plans to work with the United Nations in order to bring Internet access to Syrian refugee camps. The DailyMail wrote, “The social network’s CEO told UN representatives in a speech on Saturday that he believed the Internet was a ‘force for peace’.”

The access to information is critical to Syrians who are fleeing or fear their country. They need tools to communicate, stay connected and develop plans for safety and success.

How can you help?

The wandering refugees need smartphones, chargers and Wi-Fi providing devices. Many refugees traveling through Hungary have cell phones, but lost their charging devices during the migration. Along borders and in remote places where there are no power sources; the options are solar power, power generators or batteries.

You can go directly to Google’s Refugee Relief page, which allows you to donate through a number of verified organizations. You can also use the United Nation’s UNHCR for the refugee crisis.

Were your grandparents refugees? Imagine what you would do for them.

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Featured image: Women and Children Behind Fence via Wikimedia Commons

Body image: Zaatri Refugee Camp via Wikimedia Commons