Vodafone, WFP to improve disaster communication

Vodafone Group and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) formed a partnership aimed at increasing the effectiveness of information and communications technology response to major emergencies around the world.

The project will standardize emergency telecom systems for aid agencies worldwide to improve logistics and response times to disasters.

The UN Foundation and the Vodafone Group Foundation have committed $4.3 million between them while the WFP has pledged a further $1.8 million to develop a training program open to all humanitarian relief organizations.

Over the next three years, 500 information and communication technology workers will be trained.

Kathy Bushkin Calvin, chief operating officer of the United Nations Foundation, pointed out that in 2007, aid groups responded to 19 major crises worldwide.

'By investing in disaster response before disaster strikes, and by opening this partnership to the entire relief community, we know that this will help strengthen everyone's efforts on the ground.'

The program builds on funding provided by the two Foundations in 2006 to research and develop ICT best practices.

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