MEDIA ADVISORY: Ericsson, Refugees United, UNHCR and MTN Announce Mobile Service to Help Reunite Refugee Families in AfricaSeptember 22, 2010
Organizations Discuss Their Joint Commitment at a Press Conference During the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.
New York, NY – At the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting, several organizations will discuss an innovative partnership they have developed to help refugees connect with missing loved ones. In support of the thousands of refugee families that have become separated as they have fled from conflict and disasters, Ericsson and Refugees United, in partnership with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and mobile operator MTN in Uganda, have launched the first pilot project to trace and reconnect refugee and IDP (internally displaced persons) families through the innovative use of cell phones. The program enables refugees to use mobile phones to register themselves, search for loved ones, and subsequently reconnect via an anonymous database, using SMS or mobile Internet.
According to UNHCR, there are over five million people of concern in East and Horn of Africa, some 14 percent of the global number of people that UNHCR assists around the world. UNHCR’s main operations in this region include Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. Today mobile phones are everywhere. Utilizing this readily available technology for a good cause to enable refugees to connect with and reach out to family members they have lost contact with is fundamental.
What: Press Conference on Connecting Refugees
Wednesday, Sept 22, 2010
3:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson
Emmanuel Jal, musician, former Sudanese refugee and child soldier
Christopher Mikkelsen and David Mikkelsen, Co-founders, Refugees United
Anthony Katamba, General Manager, MTN Uganda
Kai Ricke, Chairman, Delta Partners
Lower Level Conference Room D
Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers
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