Mobile phone technologies are being integrated in efforts to aid victims of the recent massive flooding in Pakistan. Various donor agencies, aid organizations and private sector groups have started using these technologies and relevant applications to boost their operations, IRIN says.
Innovative communication technologies are most commonly used to allow for information sharing between donors, beneficiaries and volunteers on the ground. The technologies are also used to allow aid recipients to seek direct assistance, IRIN notes.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, for instance, supports a mobile phone technology service that allows people to share updates and information about the Pakistani relief effort by texting the word “FLOODS” to 7111. All information sent through the service is shared to U.S. partners in the relief effort. The service was initially launched in October 2009 and was revived in the wake of the recent massive flooding.
In the aftermath of the flooding, a private group of individuals introduced Pakreport, a portal that helps to identify requirements in flood-affected regions and determine the exact location of displaced individuals. The group also maintains a map that identifies key areas where aid is most needed.
Through Pakreport, flood victims can report their location and convey pleas for help so donors and volunteers can better plan their aid distribution, IRIN shares. Administrators of the portal screens all reports received by the portal to verify their accuracy.