Ericsson, a Swedish multinational telecommunication company, has announced it is prepping to launch an Emergency Wallet to support humanitarian organizations and affected populations in the immediate aftermath of disaster or crisis.
Known as the Ericsson Emergency Wallet, the mobile financial services solution will be designed for use in emergency situations where financial infrastructure is lacking.
It will enable the distribution and use of digital funds by relief workers and impacted populations, which can help address issues such as safety, expense and traceability that are associated with handling cash.
“Digital payment mechanisms are essential to delivering effective cash transfers to address the large scale humanitarian needs caused by today’s crises. However, only 30% of countries facing severe humanitarian emergencies have digital payments infrastructure to support scaled-up response. The IRC welcomes efforts such as the Ericsson Emergency Wallet solution to close this gap,” said David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee (IRC).
Ericsson has been involved in humanitarian causes – it has supported 40 missions in over 30 countries during the past 15 years through Ericsson Response. Its humanitarian partners requested digital financial services solutions for emergency situations.
A digital financial solution was the best way to solve the problem because of its numerous benefits – its quick, safe, and the most efficient way of extending the benefits of basic financial transactions to people who need them.
Ericsson has presented its intentions at the World Humanitarian Summit, in support of the United Nations’ Connecting Business Initiative.
The company is also committed to working actively with Connecting Business Initiative networks globally to provide technology solutions and employee expertise in support of disaster and humanitarian response.
The solution demonstrates the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to transform humanitarian response. Its design and prototype was co-funded via the Level One Project from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.