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Grass-roots aid efforts step in as tech giants shy away from taking action on refugee crisis in Europe

"Earthquake? Silicon Valley will help. Refugee crisis? Not so much." 23 Sep 2015

[I]f you’d like to use your guest room for a more altruistic purpose — say, housing one of the country’s 200,000 incoming refugees — your best bet is a German nonprofit group so small that it’s running off Google Docs and piecemeal donations from online crowdfunding... The same companies that trumpeted their support for victims of the Nepal earthquakes just five months ago have fallen strangely silent in the midst of this messier, more political tragedy...To date, Flüchtlinge Willkommen (literally “Refugees Welcome”) has placed 176 refugees in local homes. But that pales in comparison with the number of spare rooms available on the $25 billion behemoth Airbnb... Through the company’s three-year-old Disaster Response program, which lets interested hosts open their homes for free to people in need, it could theoretically put up hundreds of in-transit refugees...To date... no private firms have partnered with [International Committee of the Red Cross] to develop tools or technologies to help European refugees, and no one seems interested in doing much more than flinging money at charity. [Also mentions Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Skype] 

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