With some 19-million people from Syria, other parts of the Middle East, and Africa having been forced to flee their homes due to war, persecution and oppression since the start of 2011, Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War.
In Canada, the country got a taste of the severity of the situation when a drowned Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish shore.
Prior to Kurdi’s death, the United States, European Union and Kuwait collectively pledged $2-billion to aid refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria. However, with the UN estimating it will take $8.4-billion to properly accommodate all those people, it will take a lot more before the problem is resolved in any meaningful way, which is where companies like Google have stepped up.
The tech firm recently launched a charitable drive to raise money for refugees fleeing the Middle East and Africa. For every euro raised up to €5-million, the company will match the contribution.
Google says it plans to split the money between four different charitable organizations — Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Stathis Kyroussis, a doctor with MSF, told Vox that a refugee camp he worked at on the Greek island of Kos was one of the worst he had seen in his career. “I have worked in many refugee camps before, in Yemen, Malawi, and Angola. But here on the island of Kos, this is the first time in my life that I have seen people so totally abandoned,” he said in an interview with the publication.