Turkcell Becomes Latest Signatory of Humanitarian Connectivity Charter
Istanbul: Today at the World Humanitarian Summit, GSMA Director General Mats Granryd addressed the Leaders Roundtable on Financing: Investing in Humanity and outlined the GSMA’s commitment to expanding the footprint of its Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. In his remarks, Granryd highlighted that the GSMA will offer expertise in mobile money and disaster preparedness and response to help address the opportunities and challenges of mobile cash disbursements in disaster-prone countries.
“The humanitarian crises facing our global community today are unprecedented and the unique scale and reach of mobile networks can help meet the challenges faced by humanitarian responders,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA. “The GSMA is committed to building on the momentum of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, now covering over 50 countries, and through this we will help to address the opportunities and challenges of mobile cash disbursements in disaster-prone countries.”
The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, an initiative launched by the GSMA at Mobile World Congress 2015, unites the industry under a set of principles that aim to harness the power of mobile technology to support people affected by humanitarian emergencies. The Charter is also supported by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, the International Federation of the Red Cross and most recently by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The principles of the Charter focus on enhanced coordination, standardised preparedness and response activities and strengthened partnerships between industry, government and humanitarian organisations.
Also at the summit, Turkcell, the largest operator in Turkey, became the latest mobile operator to commit to the Charter principles, in a joint signing ceremony attended by Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioğlu and Lawrence Yanovitch, President of the GSMA Foundation. Turkcell’s commitment to the Charter builds on their leadership in supporting refugees and developing comprehensive disaster management plans. Turkcell joins recent signatories to the Charter including Millicom, Telefónica and Zain with the full signatory group now comprising over 60 operators.
Granryd added, “We are delighted that Turkcell has signed the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, committing to implement common principles that will improve access to communication and information during times of crisis. The challenge before us is enormous and we must work in close collaboration, leveraging technology and building sustainable partnerships to reduce suffering and preserving the dignity of those affected by crisis.”
In emergencies, communication is critical; access to mobile networks can be a matter of life and death. The collective work of the Humanitarian Connectivity Charter signatories is focused on enabling better-prepared and more resilient networks and facilitating more effective coordination with government and humanitarian response agencies.
Granryd concluded, “Our work with mobile operators supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to build resilient infrastructure and make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. When the mobile network is restored, the human network is restored.”
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The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
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