Both sides will share equipment, knowledge and volunteer personnel in the field to ensure the speed and effectiveness of disaster response operations. A mutual training and development program is also part of the new agreement.

“The International Federation views this agreement with Ericsson as an important milestone in mobilizing private sector support for sustainable development,” said Didier Cherpitel, Secretary General of the International Federation. “The agreement relates not only to immediate operational needs but covers a broader range of issues related to disaster mitigation and risk reduction through harnessing cutting edge technology in favor of the world’s most vulnerable people.”

IFRC has partnered with Ericsson on many occasions in the past. This co-operation today entered a new phase, when a landmark agreement on long-term co-operation was signed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

“The telecommunications industry has the ability to influence and make a difference,” said Mats Dahlin, Executive Vice President, Ericsson. “This carries a great responsibility. The most effective way to leverage our corporate social responsibility is to form active working partnerships with leading humanitarian organizations, such as the Red Cross. We hope this agreement will inspire others in the industry to follow.”