Ericsson developing Emergency Wallet for humanitarian mobile financial services

Swedish networking giant Ericsson has announced the development of a new platform designed to deliver financial services via mobile devices at times of humanitarian crisis.

The Ericsson Emergency Wallet, which is co-funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was unveiled that the World Humanitarian Summit and will enable the distribution and use of digital funds by relief workers and affected people and hopes to 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,” said David Miliband, CEO of International Rescue Committee (IRC). “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.”

“Ericsson has a long-standing commitment to humanitarian response – for example, our employee volunteer program, Ericsson Response, has supported 40 missions in over 30 countries during the past 15 years,” said  Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, VP of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility at Ericsson.

“In partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we are helping to build a new ecosystem that creates better opportunities for global financial inclusion. This unique combination of partners will be a powerful catalyst for bringing mobile financial services to humanitarian relief efforts everywhere.”

Many humanitarian projects concern populations that have limited access to financial services at the best of times. On top of that when external funds intended for relief have to pass through a lot of hands before they reach the front line there is the danger much of them going missing. If done right mobile seems like the ideal way to get humanitarian funds directly into the hands of those who need them most.

One comment

  1. Avatar Chinenye Ofia 24/05/2016 @ 3:51 pm

    Any effort which will reduce the money transfer chain between the donor and the donee would be a great achievement in humanitarian service.

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