Sunday 4 December 2016

Kickstarter for the refugee crisis raises 1.4M with one day to go

Published 12/10/2015 | 12:10

A Syrian man and his child board a ferry traveling to Athens, at the port of Lesbos Island, Greece, on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. The island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
A Syrian man and his child board a ferry traveling to Athens, at the port of Lesbos Island, Greece, on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015. The island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
A Syrian refugee collapses following her arrival on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast
A mother holds her child on October 5, 2015 after spending the night on the street with other refugees and migrants following their arrival on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey
A migrant woman holds a child as refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 5, 2015

The kickstarter has raised over $1.4 million dollars with 22,585 backers.

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The crowdfunding website deviated from creative start-ups to raise money for the refugee crisis as part of a White House initiative.

The site teamed up with the United Nations Refugee Agency for the effort, which has one day left in it's seven-day run.

Donors are invited to make tax-deductible contributions to aid Syrian refugees, with all proceeds going to the US Association of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The media featured on the custom-built dedicated Kickstarter page features video reporting by the Guardian.

The White House contacted the website to work together to find a way to involve the American public in relief efforts.

Kickstarter’s CEO, Yancey Strickler, told the Guardian that he "immediately said yes".

"This is not something we have ever done before. We have always kept the platform focused strictly on creative projects".

"But in this instance, it’s a call from the White House. And feeling, like a lot of people, overwhelmed by the immensity of this situation, we felt compelled to act, and felt like if our product could provide any path forward for the people, we should do that".

Donations made will be used to purchase and distribute life-saving equipment like tents, emergency rescue kits, food, clothing, sleeping bags and thermals. Foster care and counselling will also be provided to refugees.

Fortune.com criticised the initiative, explaining that raising money does not solve the related issues that can only be dealt with via reform.

"Humanitarian aid doesn’t mend suffering education or open labor markets to migrants".

Read their piece here.

Donate to the Kickstarter here.

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