An Unconventional Resource For Vulnerable Populations

Food, water, and shelter are all definite priorities for refugee camps, but the need for aid doesn’t stop there. In recent years, wireless connectivity has also been invaluable for refugees.

Fascinatingly, many refugee camp workers have noted that incoming refugees ask to recharge their phones and get WiFi access before asking about food or water. After all, the Internet serves as an invaluable tool for refugees as they seek to build a new life elsewhere, allowing them to keep in touch with family members, communicate with aid workers, and even map out their planned routes across the world.

To ensure that refugees have access to WiFi, aid groups and private companies teamed up to form NetHope, an alliance that offers technology services to vulnerable crisis demographics. The organization created WiFi stations that have benefited over 350,000 refugees in Europe since October 2015. The UN passed a resolution last year that makes Internet access a basic human right, which will hopefully push more organizations to sponsor WiFi connectivity for refugees.

Considering that the influx of refugees in most neighboring countries has exceeded national and international capabilities for crisis response, it’s more important than ever that these organizations continue to optimize their supply chains. When you’re delivering rations to hungry refugees, an efficient supply chain can be the difference between life and death.

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