Google Announces $35M Support For Ukraine

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met with government officials in Warsaw, Poland, to discuss the humanitarian crisis and the need for continued public-private partnerships to support refugees and fight disinformation in the region.

The company on Tuesday announced several additional initiatives to help with efforts, and to support the post-war recovery of Central and Eastern Europe after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. More than 3.7 million refugees, mostly women and children, have fled the country.

“We saw how many Ukrainians turned to Search to find up-to-date information, including where to find shelter or humanitarian aid, and relied on air raid alerts on their phones,” he wrote on a blog post.

To help, Google will roll out new features that improve access to trusted information, including Info Panels in local languages and Transparency Labels for publisher content on YouTube.

Part of the challenge is addressing misinformation spreading within realities and facts related to the war in Ukraine.

Pichai said Google and Alphabet will invest an additional $10 million that will enable new partnerships with think tanks and civil society organizations to conduct region-specific research into misinformation and disinformation, as well as cash grants to support fact-checking networks and nonprofits.

Jigsaw, a Google unit that builds technology to counter threats to open societies, will partner with local experts and academics to develop approaches to both directly counter disinformation and to help people more easily identify disinformation.

To help the humanitarian aid efforts in Central and Eastern Europe, and Googlers also have committed more than $35 million in funding and in-kind support.

This includes support for organizations focused on people in Ukraine, like Nova Ukraine and Fight for Right, as well as nonprofits supporting refugees in bordering countries, such as The Polish Center for International Aid, Hungarian Interchurch Aid, Romanian Red Cross, and People in Need in Slovakia.

Pichai also announced a new grant for refugees with disabilities, as well as a grant and Fellowship to Tech to the Rescue, a Polish nonprofit that connects tech companies and expert volunteers with humanitarian aid organizations to help solve technical needs. A team of Fellows plan to work on a pro-bono basis to help build platform and efforts, he said.

Last year, Google opened an office in Warsaw, hired more than 350 people and launched a Google Cloud region in Poland. Earlier this month, the company announced a $700 million investment in the purchase and development of The Warsaw HUB, a modern office complex in the heart of Poland’s capital city. The plan is to continue to invest in the region.

“And when this war ends, we will be here for Ukraine and the region for the long haul,” Pichai wrote.

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