Al Jazeera America

White House turns to crowdfunding campaign for Syrian refugee crisis

The Obama administration has launched its first-ever crowdfunding campaign this week to raise money for Syria’s growing refugee crisis, in a bid to draw the American public into supplementing the U.N. refugee agency’s strained budget. The initiative is also a first of its kind for Silicon Valley crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. As of Wednesday, the second full day of the campaign, donors had raised over $800,000 for the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) — enough to cover immediate necessities and a place to sleep for 3,000 people in need, the campaign page says. However, the UNHCR has only received $1.8 billion of the $4.5 billion it has requested from foreign governments for Syrian refugees in 2015.

Financial ups and downs don’t hurt just the poor

A new report from JPMorgan Chase’s research arm examined the deposit and spending patterns of 100,000 of its 27 million accounts during 2013 and 2014. It found that almost all the customers in the sample experienced changes in income and spending of 5 percent or more a month — not a tremendous fluctuation by any measure. But over the course of the year, 26 percent experienced income changes of 30 percent or more —10 percent suffered declines, while16 enjoyed increases. Income and consumption changes didn’t move in tandem. Just 28 percent of the survey subjects spent more money when they had more, and less when they had less.

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