We Care Chile: mobile operators launch campaign for disaster preparedness and response

Claro, Entel and Movistar sign the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter to enhance coordination and standardise preparedness and response before, during and after a Natural Disaster

20 April 2017, Santiago, Chile: The GSMA today announced that mobile operators Claro, Entel and Movistar became the latest signatories of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter as part of the “We Care Chile” campaign, underscoring the industry’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The ultimate aim of the Charter is to strengthen access to communication and information for those affected by crisis, helping to reduce loss of life and positively contribute to humanitarian response. Through this joint industry initiative supported by the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications of Chile (SUBTEL), the mobile operators will launch an awareness campaign though social media and digital media to highlight and reinforce best practices for disaster preparedness and response, particularly in vulnerable areas.

Industry collaboration though the We Care Chile campaign is key to enabling the full potential of mobile in preparation for and response to emergencies caused by natural disaster,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA. “We are happy to see that the mobile industry of Chile joins the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter network to work hand-in-hand with the public sector to support the SDGs.”

The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter outlines shared principles of commitment and actions, including:

  • 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; and
  • To strengthen partnerships between the mobile industry, government and the humanitarian sector.

“As a country, we have achieved key milestones like the Emergency Alert System, Disaster Action Protocol, and other actions to help victims of natural disasters, but we consider this commitment an important new step towards the construction of a real public-private collaboration. By doing so, we will be able to respond better to Chileans, with preventative actions supported through our channels of mass communication. At Claro, we are committed to the country and We Care Chile, and we are focused on continuing to strengthen the impact that we can make through telecommunications,” said Cristian Salgado, Director, Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Claro Chile.

“Entel was born from the largest earthquake in Chile in 1960, so we know that connectivity is particularly important in emergency situations or catastrophes. In that sense, we have reinforced the autonomy of our networks, so that even if there are power problems, we can keep the network active for our users. We have portable power generators in all regions to reinforce any power issues. These steps complement other steps we take to ensure our customers remain connected during periods of emergency. In addition, we train social leaders from all over the country to know how to make better use of networks in this type of situation,” affirmed Manuel Araya, Entel’s Regulatory and Corporate Affairs manager.

“At Movistar, we have a strong commitment to the country and we know how important it is for people to have access to communications, especially in cases of emergency. Therefore, as of the 2010 earthquake, we developed a Disaster Action Protocol that activates a complete connectivity recovery strategy in these situations, as well as implementing a series of effective and timely practices for the benefit of affected users,” said Fernando Saiz, Director of Public Affairs.

“For the United Nations Global Compact, participation of the private sector is critical in contributing to the SDGs. In this case, we have a great example of the mobile industry, which has reached an agreement and is seriously committed to contribute to the goals of this global agenda. We at Global Compact are proud that the Chilean mobile companies, regardless of commercial competition, join today for a country objective,” said Margarita Ducci, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network Chile.

The 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, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, and will continue to expand throughout the region.

The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter was launched at Mobile World Congress 2015 and currently includes 108 signatory operators in 77 countries.