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Google announces donation-matching effort to raise at least $11m for refugees

As European governments continue to argue about how to deal with the refugee crisis unfolding on its shores, Google has decided to do its bit to help with humanitarian efforts in the region.

With millions of Syrians displaced by their nation’s civil war and countless others fleeing other unstable or poverty-stricken countries in the Middle East, Africa, and beyond, the situation for many people is desperate.

In response, the Mountain View company has launched a donation-matching campaign that hopes to raise at least $11 million – with $5.5 million coming from Google – for humanitarian organizations currently working to provide support for the huge numbers of refugees and migrants making their way to Europe.

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Announcing the campaign, Google employee Rita Masoud, who fled Afghanistan with her family when she was seven years old, described in a post her memories of the experience.

“My family and I fled to Europe with our belongings in a single suitcase, hoping for a safer and better future,” Masoud wrote. “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…..I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help.”

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Following a $1.1 million donation by Google last week to organizations providing humanitarian relief to refugees and migrants around the world, Google is now inviting everyone to donate while promising to match the first $5.5 million in contributions.

The funds will go to four nonprofits – Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the UN Refugee Agency – that are working now to help refugees and migrants traveling from northern Africa and the Middle East toward Europe.

“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,” Masoud wrote in her post.

For more information on the campaign, or to make a donation, visit Google’s dedicated page here.