Using technology to help victims of war – Manila Bulletin


Technology has taken on a new role as a way to help those in need in Ukraine.

Take the example of AirBnB. People around the world have booked more than 61,000 nights at Ukrainian AirBnBs — with no intention of going — since last week, already raising $2 million to help locals in need. These “virtual” reservations help AirBnB operators support elderly neighbors with food and transportation and pay their employees.

AirBnB, for its part, has taken its own steps to help Ukrainians by providing free short-term housing to 100,000 people fleeing Ukraine, as reported. “People can go to and register to host refugees or donate to the cause.

In the United States, people can use the Uber app to make direct donations to the International Rescue Committee, which the ride-sharing company says will match up to $1 million, according to CNET’s report. “To help refugees fleeing the conflict, Uber is also offering unlimited free rides from the Ukrainian-Polish border to the cities of Lublin in central Poland and Rzeszow in the southeast.”

Buyers of Etsy, the e-commerce platform for handmade or vintage craft items and supplies, would purchase digital downloads from artisans based in Ukraine – artwork, clip art, patterns at crochet and even coloring book pages — which allow them to earn money without having to produce anything physical, according to CNET’s report. On behalf of Etsy, it waives current balances owed to Etsy by all sellers in Ukraine, which includes listing fees, transaction fees, advertising fees and more amounting to $4 million .

Elon Musk has activated Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service, to ensure Ukrainians have reliable internet access. Through another of his companies, Tesla, he allows owners of any model of electric vehicle to use his supercharger stations near Ukraine’s borders in Hungary and Poland.

Phone carriers such as T-Mobile and Verizon have reduced or waived charges for calls to Ukraine, with some including local calls made within the country.

These are just a few examples of how technology is being used by people as well as tech companies themselves to help Ukrainian citizens cope with war.

Even ordinary people, entrepreneurs and small businesses are banding together or creating platforms to help Ukrainians.

Stanislav Sabanov, a 37-year-old Russian who normally runs a relocation service for expats, has created Relocation.Ge, a website to help Ukrainians find shelter in Georgia – connecting those fleeing with willing landlords. house them, with doctors offering free consultations and others offering in-kind help, as reports.

Russian punk band Pussy Riot has teamed up with crypto groups Trippy Labs and UkraineDAO to auction the NFT of a Ukrainian flag and donate proceeds to a local charity, following the report from “The initiative has raised approximately $3.5 million so far.”

Additionally, “Russian digital rights group Net Freedoms has released a series of tips to help those affected by an internet outage communicate with loved ones and stay informed of the latest developments.”

The potential of digital technology to help the victims of war is enormous. We urge all tech companies, technologists and entrepreneurs to closely monitor what is happening in Ukraine and find ways to use technology for humanitarian purposes.

The author is the founder and CEO of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and cultural transformation consultancy. He is Chairman of the Information and Communications Technology Committee of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Digital Transformation. He teaches strategic management in the De La Salle University MBA program. The author can be emailed to [email protected]




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