News

Christopher Mikkelsen (left) and his brother David founded tech nonprofit REFUNITE in 2008. Credit: REFUNITE

Better together: how data is reuniting lost families

Worldwide, nearly 60 million displaced people have lost their homes and their communities, but some have lost more: their families. As the number who find themselves alone in the world continues to grow, one nonprofit is using technology to reunite refugees split up by the chaos of conflict. Christopher Mikkelsen, […]

February 1, 2016 News
Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Credit: NRC/ Tiril Skarstein

Aid shortfall giving rise to refugee underclass, warns NRC

Insufficient foreign aid and restrictive government policies are fuelling the creation of an underclass of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, sowing seeds of future unrest, the Norwegian Refugee Council said Sunday. Syrians who sought refuge in neighbouring Arab states are being denied the ability to live freely, to earn […]

January 31, 2016 News
Women-only accommodation at college helps students like Iqra Liaqat overcome cultural barriers in South Asia and study for a medical career. Credit: the Fred Hollows Foundation

Pakistan’s women sight better careers, eye health

In South Asia, where education for girls can be limited by poverty, lack of opportunity and cultural practices, Iqra Liaqat is breaking the mould – helping to advance women in work and take aim at avoidable blindness. Liaqat moved 1,800km from a small village in India’s northern state of Rajasthan, […]

January 25, 2016 News
Credit: King Abdullah Foundation

Saudi’s King Abdullah Foundation launches humanitarian prize

  The King Abdullah Foundation has launched a humanitarian prize to mark the first anniversary of the death of its founder, the late monarch of Saudi Arabia. The King Abdullah Prize for Humanitarian Efforts, announced on 23 January, will be awarded to individuals and groups that encourage better ‘understanding between […]

January 24, 2016 News
Charles Blaschke, managing director of Taka Solutions (left), with Chris Burkhardt, operations director, after their victory in the GCC round of The Venture. Credit: the Venture

Energy socent takes GCC round of The Venture

Taka Solutions, an energy services company, has won the Gulf region round of The Venture, a global competition targeting startups with a social purpose. Up against four other regional finalists the company, which installs technology in existing buildings to save energy and money, won out thanks to a proven business […]

January 21, 2016 News
Some 120 million people across Pakistan don’t have access to medical care, according to women-focused social enterprise, doctHERs. Credit: doctHERs

Web doctors prescribe health and hope for women

The power of technology is unleashing a store of unused medical knowledge to the 120 million people who go without access to healthcare in Pakistan, especially women. Lack of access to proper medical care for poor women in Pakistan is not unusual, a situation that led Dr Iffat Zafar and […]

January 20, 2016 News
UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, launch the humanitarian financing report.

Zakat, Islamic giving key to plug aid gap

Zakat has “real potential” to plug the dire – and growing – gap in funding for the 125 million people in need worldwide, according to a new UN-backed report. Channelling Islamic forms of giving, such as waqf, zakat and sukuk bonds, towards humanitarian crises was among the recommendations from an […]

January 18, 2016 News
UAE professor’s ‘selfie’ payment model wins funding

UAE professor’s ‘selfie’ payment model wins funding

A Khalifa University professor has won $100,000 in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop technology that allows people to pay for items using a photo of themselves. Dr Ernesto Damiani’s ‘Pay with a Selfie’ scheme uses photos taken on a smartphone to enable the exchange of […]

December 31, 2015 News
Credit: UNHCR / D. Nahr

Urban life worse than camps for refugee women

Syrian refugee women living in Iraq’s host communities are more vulnerable to exploitation and face more unsanitary living conditions than those in refugee camps, says an international women’s charity. Female refugees from Syria’s conflict, who seek a normal life and some autonomy by living outside the camps, live in “grotty […]

December 20, 2015 News
Some 120 app developers took part in NGO BRAC's first ever hackathon for social good. Credit: BRAC

Hackathon taps Bangladeshi youth for social impact

Last weekend, Jisan Haider, 18, spent 14 hours toiling away at his computer, taking just a one or two-hour break before restarting work. His efforts paid off. He and his five-strong team, Reboot, were among seven winners of a hackathon, held by the nonprofit BRAC in Bangladesh, to develop apps […]

December 9, 2015 News