Committed to the UN’s Connecting Business initiative

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, we announced that Ericsson was the first company to commit to the UN Secretary General and OHCA’s Connecting Business initiative and will highlight that commitment at the initiative’s launch at the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).

Committed to the UN’s Connecting Business initiative

The initiative’s core purpose is to assist “local businesses and business associations to utilize existing networks to create platforms for disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, response and recovery.”

ICT can play a critical role in this mission and is already increasingly seen as a vital element of humanitarian response. Globally, disasters have become increasingly frequent and complex, and we need to find ways to innovate, without drawing from already limited resources on the ground in such situations. In the future not just basic connectivity, but services such as digital aid and data analytics will play a greater role, and a key challenge is in knowing what technology to leverage and how to best make use of equipment, data and partners.

Ericsson commits to the UN Secretary General and OHCA's Connecting Business initiative

For 15 years Ericsson has been working to transform humanitarian response with technology and to help create a positive change by supporting our partners in the field. We have responded to 40 major disasters in 30 countries in everything from earthquakes, tsunamis to disease outbreaks to protracted refugee crisis. We also work with helping refugees connect with missing family and loved ones on a mobile platform called Refunite

But in the future we need to bring communication services not just to humanitarian and aid communities, but to serve affected populations. This is the strategy of the Emergency Telecom Cluster, where we are deeply engaged, but also in line with the call of the United Nations Secretary General at the WHS to “Leave no one behind.”

We also see a changing and more vital role for the private sector within humanitarian response. Private sector and profit used to be looked down upon by many. But times have changed, and now the UN and other organizations need the private sector more than ever, not just for good ideas but solutions that can scale.

We feel strongly that the future of humanitarian assistance needs to be about creating a new generation of public private partnerships that can leverage on the strengths of both partners, while delivering on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, also known as the Global Goals.

We are committed to assisting the UN and other humanitarian partners with understanding where technology is heading, and creating opportunities for collaboration going forward. We look forward to working with other like-minded companies and organizations to find better ways to address local disasters, as well as locally affected populations.

Through Ericsson Response, we will continue delivering on the Emergency Telecom Cluster strategy with its vision to include affected populations.The Connecting Business initiative's strategy to work with local networks and utilize all possible local resources will be a much needed complement and will fill a vital gap in preparedness and response.

Our work with the Connecting Business initiative has already started in the Philippines, and given our global reach of 180 countries, we are prepared to ramp up as the initiative starts to scale.

Partnerships are based on shared risks and trust – and true partnerships don't happen overnight. We hope the Connecting Business initiative is the beginning of a true partnership and will lead to many more, and we look forward to engaging at WHS and contributing to positive outcomes.

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