Google Pledges $5.5M in Matching Donations to Help European Migrants

Image: Migrants reach for food in Greece
Migrants reach for food delivered by the Caritas humanitarian organization on September 5, 2015 in Idomeni, Greece. Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

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By Reuters and James Eng

Google has announced a donation-matching campaign that aims to raise $11 million for humanitarian organizations aiding the thousands of migrants and refugees that have overwhelmed European nations as they flee war-torn and impoverished countries.

Google took an uncharacteristically personal approach in announcing the donation drive on its blog. Rather than having an executive make the announcement, Rita Masoud, a Google employee who fled Kabul, Afghanistan, with her family when she was 7 years old, wrote about her personal experience.

"Our journey involved many dark train and bus rides, as well as hunger, thirst, cold and fear," she wrote. "I was lucky. But as the refugee and migrant crisis in Europe has grown, many people like my family are desperate for help."

The donations will go toward four nonprofit organizations that are providing aid to refugees and migrants: Doctors Without Borders, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children and UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Related: European Migrant Crisis: Here's How You Can Help

Google said it will match the first $5.5 million worth of donations globally at, until a total of $11 million is raised. Europe is facing its worst refugee crisis since World War II, largely driven by the four-year-old civil war in Syria, which has displaced more than 4 million people this year. Many are also fleeing war-torn Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq and Libya.

Related: Gallery: Europe Closes Borders, Stranding Migrants at Crossings

"When faced with the kind of crisis currently unfolding in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, we all want to do something to help," Google said on its website. "We've identified organizations doing outstanding work on the frontlines and want to make it easy for our users to donate and support their efforts."