As announced via an official blog post, Google and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has joined hands to provide populace across the globe instant access to information on the Syrian Civil War and the Refugee Crisis, which has ensued.
Under this partnership, Google has combined its technological smarts with UNHCR’s treasure trove of verified data to launch an exclusive new website called Searching for Syria. This interactive platform answers the ‘five of the most common search queries’ that people have been searching about the crisis. To make more people aware of this new initiative, the website will be featured on Google’s search homepage in select countries.
Talking about this partnership, Jacquelline Fuller, Vice President of Google.org said:
We’re proud to work with the UNHCR to develop Searching for Syria to help raise awareness and inform the world of the human cost of the ongoing conflict and the refugee crisis. The scale of the Syrian refugee crisis is difficult for most of us to fathom, but the questions on Searching for Syria are a reflection of many people’s desire to understand.
Searching for Syria, to be completely precise, is an experience. You may have been negligent towards what’s been happening around the globe but this interactive website will provide you access to the most asked questions. The answers are not only limited to text as they’ve been combined with Google Maps, satellite imagery, 360-degree videos, photographs, and stories from refugees. The top five questions, asked frequently are:
- What was Syria like before the war?
- What is happening in Syria?
- Who is a refugee?
- Where are Syrian refugees going?
- How can I help Syrian refugees?
The highlight of this experience is the slider, which reveals the before and after the status of popular locations in Syria. You would be appalled to witness the ruins of these locations, which once used to shine and glimmered with hope. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi comments on the partnership as under:
Searching for Syria aims to dispel myths and misconceptions about Syria and refugees and provide an entirely fresh look at the biggest humanitarian tragedy of today. This is a fantastic project with Google that allows us to pinpoint and answer the five key questions about Syrian refugees and displaced.
This initiative on Google’s part is a gesture to make those who’re unaware of the ongoing battle in Syria and the refugee crisis being caused due to the same. The search giant has already been supporting those affected by the civil war since 2015 by shelling out more than $20 million in grants. This has helped provide emergency support and access to vital information and education to over 80,000 refugees — who’ve had to abandon their homes to stay alive during the war.
The ‘Searching for Syria’ site is being made available in English, coupled with additional support for French, German and Spanish. Google is working to launch the website in Arabic very soon, but it isn’t the only technology giant helping out the U.N confront the situations across the globe. Microsoft and Facebook are also heavily involved in helping out further the standards of living in such locations.