Yuri Milner’s Tech For Refugees Teams Up With the IRC to Provide Crucial Information to Displaced People


In times of crisis, access to critical information can save lives. Signpost, an initiative by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), empowers millions of refugees with timely, accurate information. Signpost also increases access to vital services, such as legal and psychological counsel, temporary accommodation, and educational facilities.

Yuri Milner’s non-profit initiative Tech For Refugees has made a multi-year commitment to support Signpost’s expansion in places like Africa and the Middle East. Other Signpost supporters include Cisco, Google.org, Meta, Microsoft, and Zendesk.

Signpost: Connecting Refugees With Vital Resources

The IRC launched Signpost in 2015 to support refugees fleeing to Europe. At the time, there were 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. By the end of 2022, the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency reported there were 108.4 million displaced people — the highest figure ever recorded.

To date, Signpost has reached 58 million people in crisis, from Italy and Ukraine to Tanzania and Mexico. It uses state-of-the-art technology tools to connect “last mile” communities with vital resources and services.

The IRC ensures each Signpost project can meet the needs of its target population. Local community liaison teams gather and share key information through online portals and platforms like social media, websites, and chat apps.

Tech For Refugees announced a three-year commitment to the IRC in February 2023. The organization’s fund is accelerating the adoption of Signpost in 10 locations worldwide.

“The scale of today’s refugee crisis requires innovative ideas,” Yuri Milner commented at the time. “Tech For Refugees is honored to collaborate with the IRC to bring sophisticated technological tools that can support millions of people as they try to rebuild their lives.”

Signpost Wins the Connect Award at the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards

Signpost received the Connect award at the 2023 UN SDG Action Awards in recognition of its work supporting and empowering millions of people. The UN SDG Action Awards recognizes projects and individuals that mobilize, inspire, and connect people to create positive change.

Signpost was one of more than 5,000 applications and nominations that 190 countries submitted to the UN SDG Action Awards in 2023. Winning the prestigious Connect award emphasizes Signpost’s significant impact on the lives of numerous displaced communities, including:

  • Refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.
  • Afghans and Ukrainians who are new to the U.S.
  • Afghans seeking resettlement information and access to services.
  • Unaccompanied children in the U.S.
  • People in crisis along the U.S./Mexico border and other key transit areas.
  • Asylum seekers, migrants, and refugees in Czechia, Greece, Hungary, and Italy.
  • Refugees living in Kenya.
  • Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
  • Refugees and returnees in Burundi and Tanzania.
  • People in regional, complex migration patterns in Niger.
  • Returnees and internally displaced people in Iraq.
  • People in Pakistan seek civil, legal, and health support.
  • People facing violent situations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
  • Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Ecuador and Colombia.

About Tech For Refugees

Created in 2022, Tech For Refugees supports tech-centric refugee relief initiatives. The non-profit provides grants to leading tech organizations so they can leverage their networks and services to positively impact the lives of refugees around the world.

Current Tech For Refugees partners include UNICEF USA, Airbnb.org, Flexport.org, Spotify, and Welcome.US. Last year, Tech For Refugees announced the expansion of its partnership with the IRC and Uber. The new program allows staff and clients of the IRC to use Uber credits to access reliable transportation.

Tech For Refugees receives its funding from Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Foundation. The philanthropist established the Foundation in 2012 to help fulfill his Giving Pledge commitment. The Foundation sponsors various charitable projects, including the Breakthrough Prize, Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and Breakthrough Initiatives.

Learn more about Tech For Refugees.