Google has announced an initiative called Crisis Info Hub, which is designed to help Syrian refugees by giving them something that they desperately need—information.
The company is doing this in the form of a lightweight mobile website that loads quickly and offers information about things like lodging, nearby medical facilities, and essential emergency contacts. The project is open-source, making it easy for others outside of Google to contribute information to the site, which can be done via Google Docs.
"Unlike some other disasters, this was one where many of the people in dire need already have phones and are used to using phones to get information," said Jacquelline Fuller, director of Google.org, in an interview with CNN.
Currently the website is live for those on the Greek island of Lesvos, and it is set to become available in more locations in the near future.
Along with the new site, Google has updated Google Translate to enable the many Arabic-speaking refugees to be able to instantly translate English and German words and documents, even when that user isn't online.
The news comes only a month after Google invited everyone using its sites to donate to the cause of helping refugees around the world. In only 48 hours, a whopping 5 million euros was raised, or around $5.5 million, which went to supporting Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Google matched these donations with a Google.org donation of its own to equal $11 million.
Google is also offering quick relief to those who need it most, giving cash donations via wireless transfer to refugees in both Jordan and Lebanon through the U.N. Refugees agency. Not only that, but it is also helping refugees get connected and get the information they need by helping bring Internet access to refugee camps.
Google is positioned to be a company that can offer the most help quickly in a crisis such as this one. An increasingly large amount of people have access to technology, with much of this technology being powered by Google-owned products. It's nice to see Google responding to the refugee crises by offering ways to help refugees through this technology.
Via: The Next Web