Ukraine and Global Refugee Crisis Response

The war in Ukraine launched by Russia in 2022 sparked a major humanitarian disaster, with millions of refugees fleeing the conflict. Like so many around the world, Yuri and Julia were deeply affected by their suffering.

Tech for Refugees

In April 2022 the foundation established by Yuri and Julia Milner committed $100 million in funding to a new initiative, Tech for Refugees, launched with leading technology companies and organizations, and Spotify, to further efforts to bring humanitarian assistance to refugees from Ukraine and around the world. The initiative is intended to leverage the networks and expertise of tech companies and organizations to provide shelter, provisions and comfort to refugees.

In June 2022 Tech for Refugees also partnered with Welcome.US to expand pathways for Americans to support refugees. This program includes the launch of Welcome Connect, a first-of-its-kind platform enabling refugees to build a profile through which to connect to sponsors in the United States.

In October 2022 the initiative announced the expansion of its partnership with to include programs in Pakistan and the Horn of Africa, alongside increased funds for its efforts supporting refugees from Ukraine.

Tech For Refugees is partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in a multi-year funding program to expand its Signpost information platform to millions more refugees around the world.

Tech For Refugees is also collaborating with UNICEF USA, the United Nations Children’s Fund, to bring vital educational assistance to children affected by the war in Ukraine through a grant to support the organization’s education programming.

In 2023, Uber joined the initiative, donating Uber Credits to the IRC to help with transportation needs as it worked with refugees from Ukraine and other countries to rebuild their lives. In another Tech For Refugees program, Uber collaborated with data-matching platform Needsmap to help victims of the earthquake in Turkey.

Support for Ukrainian Scientists

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has committed $6 million to support Ukrainian science and scientists, including:

  • A $1 million donation to a U.S. National Academy of Sciences initiative to help displaced Ukrainian researchers relocate and continue their work.
  • A further $2.1m challenge grant to the NAS to boost its efforts on behalf of Ukrainian-led scientific research.
  • A further $3 million to a high-level international coordinating group of scientific organizations established to take concrete steps to support Ukraine’s scientists and research community. The group includes the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences Ukraine, the All European Academies, the Leopoldina German National Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science, the French Academy of Sciences, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and the Royal Society of the United Kingdom.
  • A $1.5 million donation to ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, for distribution to affected scientists via European academic institutions.
  • $500,000 to a consortium of leading Israeli universities led by Tel Aviv University to assist scientists forced to leave Ukraine with fellowships to continue their studies in Israel.
  • A donation of A$800,000 to the Australian Academy of Sciences to support its initiatives to assist Ukrainian scientists through research collaborations and access to Australian infrastructure and facilities.

Other Contributions

The foundations established by Julia and Yuri have also donated $8 million to help affected civilians:

  • $3 million to international relief organizations to help refugees from Ukraine
  • $3 million to the Conference of European Rabbis to help Jewish refugees from Ukraine
  • $2 million to Stand With Ukraine, a GoFundMe initiative launched by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher to help refugee and humanitarian relief efforts

Related Contributions

DST Global, the technology investment company founded by Yuri Milner, also joined the Stand With Ukraine initiative with a $3.5 million donation.