STAFF REPORT ISB: Telenor Pakistan has signed an agreement with its emergency response partner, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS), to mitigate the impact of disasters through an SMS-based early warning system.
This project is a “flagship endeavour” designed to ensure preparedness and mitigation of any disaster through emergency response, emergency recovery, rehabilitation and development.
This initiative, funded by IFRC and Telenor Pakistan, will allow aid agencies and mobile phone users in disaster-hit areas to interact in real-time through SMSs, creating much-needed timely communication flow.
IT and Telecom Minister Rehman, who was present on the occasion, said: “Unfortunately, Pakistan has seen recurring natural disasters in recent times. It is heartening to see that Telenor and PRCS have again collaborated to develop a system utilising their core competencies to bring positive social change.”
She said that this is true empowerment, as it will allow potential affectees to proactively save lives. Everyone can in fact become a helping hand.
“This system allows PRCS to specify a particular region or even a neighbourhood to which text messages will be sent through mobile phones,” said Michael Patrick Foley, the chief executive officer of Telenor Pakistan.
He also said that the text messages will elicit response from mobile phone users in need of aid, giving them an effective voice on how assistance should be delivered.
PRCS Chairman Dr Saud Elahi said this initiative can mitigate the effects and save many lives.