Mobile operators in Colombia sign GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter to work on natural disaster response

Claro, Telefónica Movistar and Tigo-Une, in conjunction with Asomóvil, pledge to collaborate in humanitarian crisis preparedness and response as part of the “We Care Colombia” campaign.

Bogotá: Mobile operators Claro, Telefónica Movistar and Tigo-Une, and the Mobile Industry Association of Colombia (Asomóvil), todayannounced the signing of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter as part of the “We Care Colombia” campaign. The ultimate aim of the Charter is to strengthen access to communication and information for those affected by crisis in order to reduce the loss of life and positively contribute to humanitarian response.

01nosimportacolombia“The mobile industry can use its scale and reach positively to contribute to preparedness during disaster situations and to support the humanitarian response afterwards,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of GSMA Latin America. “Our aim as a mobile ecosystem is to help deliver on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and this initiative is essential to support communities when they most need it,” Cabello added.

The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter outlines shared principles of commitment and a series of aspirational collaborative actions to demonstrate the support of the mobile industry to the community and other stakeholders in disaster situations. The principles of the Charter are:

  • To enhance coordination within and among mobile network operators before, during and after a disaster
  • To scale and standardise preparedness and response activities across the industry to enable a more predictable response
  • To strengthen partnerships between the Mobile Industry, Government and the Humanitarian sector

02nosimportacolombiaThe announcement was made at the event SIMEX Colombia 2016, organized by the National Unit for Risk and Disaster Management (UNGRD) of Colombia and attended by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (IFRC) and Colombian authorities, including the Colombian Red Cross, Colombian Civil Defence, the Fire Department, the Army and Air Force and the National Police.

Mobile operators in Colombia, Asomóvil and the GSMA summarised the outcomes of the “We Care Colombia” campaign programmes launched last year:

  • Developing mobile infrastructure: With the support of the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies (MinTIC), the National Spectrum Agency (ANE), the Judiciary and the Office of the Inspector General, 254 people were trained in five Colombian cities by 18 instructors, and 400 information booklets were distributed. The “MORE ANTENNAS, MORE PROGRESS” campaign was launched in the cities of Cali and Cartagena on radio, press and regional TV, at transport stops and on the campaign website. The final figures were 4,144 radio mentions, 24 notices in the press and 234 broadcasts on regional television.
  • Protecting the environment: The campaign “If you don’t use it, recycle it” was launched to raise pubic awareness about the importance of recycling Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). The awareness campaign achieved a reach and impact of 7,978,737 people informed.
  • Reducing handset theft: After an agreement was signed with the National Police in May 2015, mobile operators send the police the latest IMEI numbers reported on the negative Operational Database, which is associated with the number listed by users on the National Police website. The police can then notify the office of the Public Prosecutor to formally report the incident.
  • Disaster response: Operators deployed their resources to help publicise the National Evacuation Drill and the Search and Rescue Drill organised by Colombia’s National Unit for Risk and Disaster Management (UNGRD). The outcomes were 9 million people informed, 145 television broadcasts of the advertisement, 20,000 collaborators informed via the intranet, 121 messages sent to 4.4 million followers on social networks, and 806 broadcasts of the advertisement at 110 Victim Care Centres across the country.

03nosimportacolombiaThe GSMA We Care campaign is an initiative of the leading mobile operators in Latin America to ensure all their users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have decided to join forces as an industry and take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. We Care has already been launched with several initiatives in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand throughout the region.

The Humanitarian Charter was launched at 2015 Mobile World Congress and currently includes more than 100 signatory operators in more than 75 countries.