Home is Behind; Let’s Talk Ukrainian Refugee Crisis
As of Tuesday, more than 3 million Ukrainians have fled their country,according to a tracker from the U.N. refugee agency, following Russia’s invasion on the 24th February. Poland has taken 1.7 million refugees whilst hundreds of thousands of others have entered Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, and surrounding Eastern and Central European countries. Along with Afghanistan, Yemen, Sudan, Somali, and Venezuela amongst (sadly) many others, this has become a human disaster of epic proportions.
Refugees across the world face a host of challenges from housing, food, healthcare, education and communication, as well as other human needs. They also face legal issues around residency status, employment, access to credit, and ability to confirm their own identities.
Two and a half weeks following the invasion, a number of initiatives have been launched specifically to aid refugees from Ukraine. Many long standing initiatives are aimed at aiding refugees across the world, some other European start-ups are providing bespoke charitable solutions to the Ukrainian conflict.
The solutions range. For shelter, one is Prykhystok, described as an Airbnb or Couchsurfing for refugees, which now has over 5,000 shelters across the country. Prykhystok was the idea of Ukrainian MP Halyna Yanchenko, a mother who is trapped under shelling in Kyiv and separated from her two children. Some traditional start-ups are enabling charity through their services. In Germany Wunderflats, a platform that helps users find furnished temporary apartments, is facilitating accommodation for Ukrainian refugees from landlords who are discounting or offering apartments for free through the service.
Ukrainian software developers worked with BlaBlaCar, a carpooling app, and Uklon, the Ukrainian Uber, to organize carpools and rides for civilians fleeing conflict zones. In the first three days alone, BlaBlaCar ferried more than 50,000 people to the west of Ukraine to safety. Flixbus, the bus transport service under the $3 billion German transportation startup FlixMobility, is offering free tickets for refugees, regardless of nationality, and created additional connections from the Ukrainian/Polish and Ukrainian/Romanian border.
These are very simple actions that have used sharing-economy technology to enable charitable match-making. However, in the medium and long term, many refugees may never return to their homes and need help with language acquisition, permanent housing, employment, and financial products. Blockchain technology may create new solutions for refugee identification systems, providing a digital verification mechanism for people unable to prove their identity and allowing them to share their identity and transactions.
The war will most-likely have long term effects on Ukraine’s promising status as a thriving tech ecosystem. The country has over 250,000 software developers and its people are responsible for tech products that have become household names including unicorns GitLab, Grammarly, Genesis, People.ai, and Firefly Aerospace. By 2025, the Ukrainian tech industry was projected to reach $10 billion in value. VC, technological innovation, funding rounds, and capital expansion lose their relevance when your country is under threat. Hopefully this talent base will help support those who chose to stay abroad and those who come back to rebuild their country.
Derek Brooks, Head of Venture
Europe has united in its support for Ukrainian refugees, but did not greet other refugees and migrants so warmly in the past decade. The New Yorker explores the contrast in treatment of other refugee groups from Asia and Africa, and what this means for migrant policy in Europe.
Techfugees, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization that creates sustainable digital solutions to help displaced people regain their autonomy, has worked double-time to provide a number of resources to Ukrainian refugees, including transportation and relocation options.
In We are Displaced, Nobel peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai describes her own experiences living in a Pakistan ruled by the Taliban and shares the stories of nine other displaced girls — from countries like Colombia, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This newsletter is intended solely for informational purposes, and should not be construed as investment/trading advice and are not meant to be a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any securities mentioned. Any reproduction or distribution of this document, in whole or in part, or the disclosure of its contents, without the prior written consent of Flat World Partners is prohibited
Forwarded this message? Subscribe Here!
Copyright © 2022 Flat World Partners, All rights reserved.