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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Ericsson Response marks 10yr of humanitarian aid

Ericsson Response, last week marked its 10 years of responding emergencies and supporting over 50 complex disasters with over 140 volunteers in 30 countries including Nigeria.

Ericsson Response, a global initiative that provides the communication equipment and expertise needed to respond effectively to human suffering caused by natural disasters. The initiative formalizes Ericsson’s commitment to the issue based on its previous involvement and experience in various disaster response efforts throughout the world.

Also, Ericsson Response works in close cooperation with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the United Nation’s (UN) different humanitarian organizations.

A press statement made available to ITRealms Online by the Communications Manager for West Africa at Ericsson, Ms Omasan Ogisi, informed that 10th anniversary of Ericsson Response formed in 2000, was born of a conviction among top managers at Ericsson of the need to invest in a non-profit, global initiative.

Since 2000, she said, Ericsson Response has participated in more than 50 natural disasters and complex emergencies in Turkey (1999), Salvador (2001), India (2001), Afghanistan (2002), Iran (2003), Thailand (2004), Pakistan (2005), Lebanon (2006), Central African Republic (2008) Democratic Republic of Congo (2009) and Sudan (2009), to name a few.

She noted that the over 140 volunteers in 30 countries working for Ericsson Response are trained to help set up and maintain communications in disaster zones.

The volunteers’ network, she said, has spread out across 30 countries.

The Director, Learning & Competence Develop for region sub-Saharan Africa, and a volunteer, Tade Oyinlola, was quoted as saying that Ericsson Response has been a humbling and life changing experience to most of the volunteers.

Oyinlola said they are properly trained and equipped with the skills and contacts required for successful field support.

Also, Oyinlola recalled being part of the relief effort to support the victims of the 2005 earthquake in the city of Muzzaffarabad, Pakistan.

Notably, Ericsson Response’s operation after the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year was the biggest in the 10-year history of the organization; even as the aid network facilitated more than 3000 calls daily.

On a visit to Haiti, recently, the former United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sir John Holmes, pointed out that nothing is more important than good, rapid communications at the beginning of a disaster.

“The GSM network built up for humanitarian efforts in Haiti enabled aid workers to work more efficiently and to provide desperately needed support for suffering people,” he said.

The Ericsson Response program is a not-for-profit activity that supports humanitarian operations with no commercial objective and is a key component of Ericsson’s corporate responsibility activities.

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