Global problems, from disaster relief to climate change, will be tackled from in front of computer screens worldwide this weekend, as a thousands of hackers take part in a coding marathon for charity.

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Over 2,000 developers across 21 global cities are taking part in the #hack4good marathon, organised by San Francisco based social networking site for developers, Geeklist.

Charities including Unicef UK, Macmillan, Friends of the Earth and Amnesty International are involved.

Geeklist founder Reuben Katz said: "Every aspect of our lives is touched somehow by software engineering – whether it’s the media we read or the fruit we eat – and there’s huge potential to work globally to better manage the problems we face.

"Solutions have to solve actual problems, be they logistical, communicative or data-oriented. But we plan to unite NGOs, charities and organisations that deal with humanitarian issues, disaster and environmental relief and think there is real scope to affect change."

Tools that could be developed could be disaster response software, such as Person Finder, the survivor list and message board developed by Google in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Google is supporting #hack4good globally.

It could also include developing cheaper software, to make access to technology easier for a range of charities, or developing new ways to connect charities with supporters.

Mr Katz also wants to create a permanent community of experts who can be on hand during global disasters to help solve problems in real time. The company is launching The Geeklist Corps of Developers (found at geekli.st/corps) – to be the first responders to humanitarian problems worldwide.

Cities taking part in #hack4good include New York, London, Kathmandu, Minsk, Toronto, and Tel Aviv. Around 200 hackers were expected to take part in New Delhi, with 160 in San Francisco and 150 in Paris.

Tools that could be developed could be disaster response software, such as Person Finder, the survivor list and message board developed by Google in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Google is supporting #hack4good globally.

It could also include developing cheaper software, to make access to technology easier for a range of charities, or developing new ways to connect charities with supporters.

Mr Katz also wants to create a permanent community of experts who can be on hand during global disasters to help solve problems in real time. The company is launching The Geeklist Corps of Developers – to be the first responders to humanitarian problems worldwide.

Cities taking part in #hack4good include New York, London, Kathmandu, Minsk, Toronto, and Tel Aviv. Around 200 hackers were expected to take part in New Delhi, with 160 in San Francisco and 150 in Paris.

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