Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud
Last night I was honored to accept the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Hunger Hero Award on Ericsson’s behalf. This award recognizes the pioneering work done by our company to provide telecommunications solutions in support of humanitarian response. The bulk of that work comes from our Ericsson Response program, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.
In those 15 years, Ericsson Response has supported humanitarian relief agencies such as WFP with essential mobile communications support during disaster relief operations. A team of 150 staff specially trained in disaster response has deployed in more than 40 humanitarian relief efforts in more than 30 countries.
2015 saw numerous damaging humanitarian crises crop up around the world, impacting hundreds of thousands. Through the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, Ericsson worked closely with WFP on 34 deployments of volunteers in support of the Ebola response as well as emergencies in Vanuatu, Nepal, Iraq and South Sudan. With our legacy knowledge and portfolio in ICT, as well as the breadth of countries in which we currently operate, Ericsson is in a unique position to activate and support a range of needs in trying times such as these – and from our leaders to our employee volunteers, we feel a moral obligation to provide that support.
Ericsson is also strongly committed to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) – a range of campaigns aimed at global issues such as world hunger, poverty, gender inequality and more that can be uniquely aided by ICT. Ericsson remains committed to the UN SDGs with partners like WFP because of the humanitarian vitality of achieving such goals as reaching zero hunger by 2030. The global community has come out in droves to provide their support for these initiatives, as evidenced by the wide range of supporters and contributors to the commitments laid out at the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly last September and COP21 in Paris this past December.
More personally, my time with organizations such as the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and the UN Foundation Board of Directors has exposed me to the vast array of crises the world is currently facing, and I am motivated to put my and Ericsson’s support behind initiatives to mitigate these crises.
But there is more to be done by all stakeholders, from public organizations to private institutions, through 2030 and beyond. Further support by the global community is imperative to the achievement of the UN SDGs, and at Ericsson we strive to find more opportunities to partner with other organizations and provide our resources to better our world.
My sincere gratitude to the World Food Programme for this great honor – here’s to our continued partnership, and more importantly the eradication of these humanitarian crises in years to come.