Ericsson, IRC set to transform humanitarian response on Ebola, conflict-driven crisis


Ericsson and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have announced a multi-faceted partnership aimed at connecting and providing support for those impacted by health, natural disaster and conflict-driven humanitarian crises.

The partnership initially will focus on the use of mobile phones and applications designed to support Ebola infection-prevention efforts at primary healthcare facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Specifically, the technology will enable IRC teams to more accurately and efficiently capture and monitor data related to the facilities’ Ebola preparedness and response.

The partnership also will provide technology and services that enable displaced families to reconnect with one another. Longer term, the organizations will collaborate on employee volunteer engagement, common projects, advocacy and knowledge-sharing.

David Miliband, President and CEO of IRC, says: “The combination of IRC’s operational expertise and Ericsson’s technology leadership has huge potential to help alleviate human suffering in some of the places hardest hit by conflict and disease. Ericsson’s global reach and proven track record in using technology for good will be a huge asset in future relief efforts.”

Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Vice President Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson, says: “The world of humanitarian response is challenged like never before. The spread of Ebola, the Syrian refugee crisis and less high-profile crisis in South Sudan all present different challenges to those working with humanitarian response.”

“ICT can play a critical role in responding to conflict and disaster, and effective communications contribute both to saving lives and alleviating suffering. Technology is increasingly seen as a way to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response. Working in public-private partnership with IRC to leverage our respective strengths will help create real impact on the ground.”

TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at