Update below.

With the number of refugees now fleeing war-torn Syria reaching into the hundreds of thousands, Apple is inviting customers to donate to the Red Cross through a splash page on the iTunes Store. There are donate buttons for amounts ranging from $5 to $200 in the U.S. store, and for similar sums in other countries.

Many Syrian nationals have seen their homes and, in some cases, entire towns destroyed by bombings. Others were forced to run as ISIS continues its brutal expansion, with murder and rape commonplace. The Red Cross has launched a crisis appeal to raise money to provide food, water, shelter and medical care for those fleeing the country … 

Apple frequently supports the Red Cross in its appeals for donations to respond to humanitarian crises around the world. Past examples include the Nepal earthquakeTyphoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti and, of course, Hurricane Sandy. Apple also last year invited donations for cancer research organization City of Hope.

Update: In an email to employees, Tim Cook said that Apple is also making “a substantial donation” to the appeal, and would match employee donations on a 2-for-1 basis. The text of his email, via Buzzfeed, can be seen below.

Google recently created a donation-matching program for other nonprofits working to address the crisis.

Cook’s email reads:


As we’ve all seen and read in the news, millions of people from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries have fled their homes because of war and persecution. Europe, where many hope to find safety, is experiencing a refugee crisis on a scale that hasn’t been seen since World War II. Thousands of people have already lost their lives as families embark on long and dangerous journeys across land and sea.

Our hearts go out to these refugees, and many of you have asked how we can help.

Apple is making a substantial donation to relief agencies which provide humanitarian aid to refugees in Europe and around the Mediterranean. We’re also making it easy for our customers to support this effort by donating to the Red Cross via the App Store and iTunes.

For employees who donate to the Red Cross campaign and other select relief efforts, Apple will match your contribution 2-for-1. For details, please visit the Apple Matching Gifts program page here.

Apple is dedicated to advancing human rights around the world. We hope the actions we’re taking will help make the situation less desperate for some, and ease the hardship so many are enduring.

Thank you.


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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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