Our Mission

Urban refuge brings aid and access to aid into the 21st century by connecting the people who provide aid with the people who seek it. The app consolidates and digitizes information about service providers held by nonprofits, NGOs, community organizations, and local governments and allows them to help their target populations (refugees and other vulnerable populations) more easily and more effectively: it literally puts aid on the map, along with descriptions of aid providers in target languages and real-time directions to locate the aid provider.

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The Problem

Two-thirds of the world’s refugees live in cities. Most don’t get the aid they deserve.

These “urban refugees” have significantly less access to aid than camp refugees, and far less research is available about their welfare. From housing to language barriers to health complications, the governments that take these refugees in also take on a huge responsibility in caring for them, often leaving urban refugees deprived of the aid that they deserve.

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Our Solution

An app to map aid in urban centers.

“Urban Refuge” shows refugees and other vulnerable peoples where they can access life-saving aid within a 1-mile radius while remaining anonymous. The app takes scattered aid resources including medical centers, day cares, and food banks and lists them in refugees’ native languages. It also provides directions and basic details in order to facilitate access. “Urban Refuge” can also be applied to other vulnerable populations such as undocumented workers and homeless citizens.


Our Story

Urban Refuge was founded in 2016 as a part of an incubator class at Boston University. The goal of the founding class was to map aid for refugees in Amman, Jordan. Since then, we have worked to expand the reach of our app to put aid on the map for vulnerable populations all over the world.