Operators Sign Cooperation Agreement with the GSMA, Guatemalan Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to Collaborate on Use of Mobile in Preparation for and Response to Natural Disaster
Guatemala City: Claro, Movistar and Tigo have signed a cooperation agreement with the GSMA and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), pledging to work together on the use of mobile services to prepare for and respond to emergencies caused by natural disaster through the We Care Guatemala campaign.
Guatemala is one of the few countries where three tectonic plates converge. It is also home to 288 volcanoes and structures of volcanic origin, eight of which register activity. The country is also highly prone to the impact of weather phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña, which can have humanitarian consequences across the country.
“Collaboration between the national mobile industry and the Guatemalan Red Cross is essential to optimise the benefits that mobile technology can play in responding to natural disasters,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of GSMA Latin America.
The We Care Guatemala campaign implemented by the nation’s three mobile operators and the Guatemalan Red Cross will focus on a preparedness initiative for response to emergencies, disasters and crises with the following phases:
- Setting up a coordination board or committee among government institutions responsible for disaster response, the private sector and other key stakeholders;
- Creating an action protocol to prioritise the mobile network as a public necessity in emergencies or crises;
- Raising awareness and providing training about appropriate use of mobile telephony in emergencies;
- Promoting voluntary blood donation in emergencies and informing the population about safe places or shelters set up to provide assistance; and
- Analysing the best technologies to implement for emergency response.
As part of this joint campaign, Claro, Movistar and Tigo are adhering to the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter, whose principles commit them to enhance coordination within and among mobile network operators before, during and after a disaster, and strengthen partnerships between the mobile industry, government and the humanitarian sector.
The IFRC and the GSMA view this agreement as confirmation of the desire of both organisations to continue working with national societies, mobile operators and governments to provide humanitarian aid to people who need it, when and where they need it.
“As an industry, we are focused on connecting everyone and everything to a better future, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” continued the GSMA’s Cabello. “This collaboration with the International Federation expands the network of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter and the We Care campaign, and contributes to our collective action in delivering against the SDGs for the benefit of citizens.”
“It’s important to create partnerships like this, because the people of Guatemala benefit most. Otherwise it would be complicated to implement programmes that are so necessary for Guatemalans and their families,” said Francisco Evertsz, Regulatory and Institutional Relations Manager, Telefónica Móviles Guatemala.
Manuel Sisniega, Director of Corporate Affairs, Tigo Guatemala, said: “Creating these kinds of partnerships is fundamental in enabling us to contribute and support Guatemala in emergencies, because the geographical location of the country makes it prone to a range of natural phenomena. That’s why we decided to join this effort, as we’re aware of the benefits to be gained from setting up mechanisms that allow communications to operate or be re-established in disaster-affected areas. Tigo pledges to help find more efficient solutions than those currently in place for emergency situations.”
“For Claro, as a subsidiary of América Móvil, managing sustainability effectively and comprehensively is part of our commitment. That’s why we support this partnership to place our mobile technology platform at the service of the people of Guatemala and contribute to better disaster management response in emergency situations,” said José Cervantes Rivera, Director of Human Resources and Regulatory Affairs for Central America in Claro.
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, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and will continue to expand throughout the region.
The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter was launched at Mobile World Congress 2015 and currently includes 105 signatory operators in 77 countries.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with almost 300 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.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, comprising 190 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a Secretariat in Geneva and more than 60 delegations to support activities around the world, providing assistance without discrimination.
The IFRC vision is to inspire, encourage, facilitate and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies, with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering, and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.
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Diana Medina, Communications Manager, Americas Region
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