Press Releases

MEDIA ADVISORY: Ericsson, Refugees United, UNHCR and MTN Announce Mobile Service to Help Reunite Refugee Families in Africa

September 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 

Media Contact: [email protected] 


For questions, e-mail: [email protected]


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