Telenor, continuing with its efforts to provide relief to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of Lower Dir, Buner, and Swat has taken it total contribution to relief activities to 19 million PKR. The contribution comprises monetary assistance and provision of free communications services.
Monetary Contributions to relief activities
Today, the Telenor Group pledged PKR 15 million to the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Earlier, Telenor Pakistan employees had voluntarily donated PKR 1.7 million to PRCS. Telenor Pakistan has also previously supported relief work with PKR 2 million in the immediate aftermath of the massive displacement bringing its total monetary contribution to PKR 18.7 million.
PRCS is providing relief services to about 120,000 IDPs of Swat, Lower Dir and Buner through eight purpose built camps. The camps offer shelter, food, health, clean water, sanitation and psycho-social rehabilitation. In near future PRCS aims to extend its services to 400,000 IDPs.
Telenor’s contribution is meant to help provide essentials to the people who are innocently caught in the conflict and who are in dire need of assistance.
Helping through communications
Telenor’s total assistance package also included making innovative use of mobile communications in order to help with the coordination and provision of relief.
The company moved fast to enhance capacity at several camp sites to offer uninterrupted communications in the area. Multiple expansions have resulted in the provision of communication services to tens of thousands in the field.
Telenor Pakistan also provided free SIMS for the use of rescue workers in the field along with SMS broadcast facility and free air time for them to coordinate activities at camp sites.
Commenting on his organization’s involvement with the IDP relief efforts, Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs Telenor Pakistan, Irfan Wahab Khan, said “Telenor is inseparable from the Pakistani community. We have a deeply entrenched philosophy of social responsibility and a tradition of being the first to extend both financial and manpower support in disaster relief. We are highly appreciative of Pakistan Red Crescent Society’s efforts in the field and hope that our contribution will help them provide some relief to displaced families in these tough times.”
“The Telenor Group places emphasis on contributing to each country through our local companies. And when people are suffering from natural disasters like in Pakistan today in a conflict based humanitarian crisis, we will show our commitment to the affected people ,” said Hilde Tonne, Executive Vice President and Head of Communications and Social Responsibility in the Telenor Group.
Acknowledging the support extended by Telenor the Chairman PRCS Mr. Saeed Ahmad Qureshi appreciated the contribution of Telenor and its employees towards the cause. He further added that the magnitude of the problem calls for sustained contribution from society at large to alleviate sufferings of the IDPs. He also praised the efforts of all relief workers and volunteers involved in relief efforts.