As the world faces increasing conflicts, an unprecedented refugee crisis, natural disasters and other challenges, ICT can play a critical role in improving humanitarian response – including more effective distribution of aid to those in need. The number of people affected by humanitarian crises has almost doubled in the past decade, resulting from conflict or global challenges such as climate change and environmental degradation.
The role of ICT in disaster response
Through our programs and partnerships, we have demonstrated the powerful role ICT can play in transforming humanitarian response by creating long-term solutions that support both efficiency and efficacy. A key consideration is knowing what technology to leverage and how to best make use of equipment, data and partners. In addition to providing the basic connectivity, we are also exploring how we might implement services such as data analytics and digital aid to improve resilience and humanitarian response in the future. For example, we know that mobile phone data can be an important source of near real-time data on human mobility during an emergency.
Connecting business initiative
At the World Humanitarian Summit, we committed to the UN Secretary-General and OCHA´s Connecting Business Initiative . This multi-stakeholder initiative provides a mechanism for the private sector to engage with the UN system, national governments and civil society in a coordinated manner on crisis risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.