Google launches an interactive website to explain the Syrian refugee crisis


With the help of United Nations’ refugee agency Google launches a website, Searching for Syria, aimed at answering the five most common questions about the Syrian refugee crisis. The site will be featured on the Google home page in selected countries.

In 2016, Google and UNHCR teamed up to combine this report with Search trends, drawing connections between the questions that people are searching for with the UNHCR’s detailed data sets.

Searching for Syria

“Searching for Syria” addresses questions such as, “what was Syria like before the war?”, “what is happening in Syria?”, “who is a refugee?”, “where are Syrian refugees going?”; and “how can I help Syrian refugees?”  The answers combine data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with Google Maps, satellite imagery, videos, photography and stories from refugees to show both the scale of the war and the human suffering.

The site is designed to help inform people who are looking for a trustworthy source of information. It also features 360-degree videos of ancient sites that have been damaged or destroyed during the conflict, as well as Google Earth imagery taken before and after the war.

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A link to donate to the UNHCR is included at the very bottom of the page, as well as a link to the organization’s #WithRefugees petition, which calls for guaranteed education for refugee children and adequate homes for displaced families.

Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said, this is a fantastic project with Google that allows us to pinpoint and answer the five key questions about Syrian refugees and displaced that audiences most want to know and help us rally much needed support and funding for our humanitarian effort.

Currently, the site is available in languages, English, French, German and Spanish. Arabic version will launch soon.