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Apple promises large donation for European refugee crisis

Apple’s chief executive told employees Friday that the company would pledge a significant amount of money to the burgeoning refugee crisis currently occurring across Europe.

Tim Cook said Apple will make a “substantial” donation to relief agencies assisting refugees streaming into Europe from the civil war in Syria, as well as conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

He noted that the company would match employee donations 2-to-1 to a Red Cross campaign and other select agencies, part of an ongoing program at Apple.

“Europe, where many hope to find safety, is experiencing a refugee crisis on a scale that hasn’t been seen since World War II,” Cook said in an internal memo. “Thousands of people have already lost their lives as families embark on long and dangerous journeys across land and sea.”

The CEO also said Apple customers will be able to easily donate to the Red Cross through the App Store and iTunes.

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

Cook told Fortune magazine earlier this year that he plans to donate the majority of his wealth to charity, and that Apple’s program of matching employee donations to charity has raised $25 million since 2011. While the company is very secretive about its donations, it has revealed that it donated $100 million to HIV/AIDS charity Project Red during the past few years and $100 million in 2014 to ConnectED, an education aid organization.

Google earlier this week committed to raising $11 million for the refugee crisis by matching donations. Travel booking service TripAdvisor pledged $500,000, and JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have each agreed to donate at least $1 million.

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