Tech startups revolutionizing refugee support in Europe

refugee support in Europe

A significant refugee crisis has unfolded on a global scale, with millions of displaced individuals seeking refuge in Europe. However, the challenges these refugees encounter do not end upon their arrival in Europe; instead, they face a new set of complexities as they strive to establish themselves in their new homes. To address this multifaceted issue, numerous innovative startups have emerged, harnessing technology to provide valuable assistance during this ongoing crisis. These startups are committed to offering comprehensive solutions, including language translation services, assistance with finding accommodation, support in securing employment, and programs designed to facilitate seamless integration into European societies. Given the staggering number of 68.5 million people displaced worldwide due to conflicts and persecution, these startups play a crucial role in finding creative and effective ways to alleviate the plight of refugees and assist them in rebuilding their lives in Europe.

The impetus for these startups was further underscored by Finland’s labor shortage. The arrival of approximately 32,000 refugees in Finland highlighted the urgent need for action. In this context, several innovative companies have risen to the challenge, using technology to offer a range of solutions.

            Moni, a startup, joined forces with the Finnish government to introduce an innovative solution to replace the conventional cash disbursement method for refugees. This new approach involves the issuance of a prepaid debit card, eliminating the requirement for a bank account or identity papers. With this card in hand, refugees gain the ability to perform essential financial transactions, including bill payments, receiving salaries, applying for loans or credit via their mobile phones, and even sending money – all at no cost whatsoever.

            Just arrived is a matchmaking platform, linking newcomers in Sweden with job prospects in the country’s labor market. The application is presently accessible in English, Swedish, Farsi, and Arabic, with plans to include additional languages down the line. Founded in 2016, this startup is currently active in Stockholm and Gothenburg, with intentions to expand its operations in the future. Another example is the Welcome app. It serves as a platform connecting thousands of refugees and local residents across Sweden. Through this forum, refugees can engage with the local community by asking questions. This interaction, also called as “digital handshakes” by the company, has made around 60,000 people feel more at home. The app supports five languages: Arabic, Persian, Swedish, Norwegian, and English, and it offers real-time translation of chats.

            In the face of one of the largest refugee crises in history, one can only imagine how important it is to leverage technology and provide vital support to refugees. From financial solutions to integration and job opportunities, start-ups can take significant strides in helping displaced individuals rebuild their lives and find stability in their new homes.

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