As emergency aid efforts ramp up across the Gaza Strip, Internews Europe is leading the charge: It’s one of ten charities working with the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to provide life-saving relief for more than half a million Gazans. Souktel is partnering with Internews on this initiative—delivering mobile information services that promote faster, more effective communication with communities in need.
Across Gaza, weeks of conflict have left roads and buildings heavily damaged–making it difficult for families to get key information about aid and security. To help bridge these information gaps, the Internews-led Gaza Humanitarian Information Service will produce a live daily radio program with useful, actionable humanitarian “news-you-can-use” and timely updates with details on aid distribution. Crucially, the service will also strengthen two-way communication between communities and aid providers–through mobile data collection and listener polling led by Souktel, which will let Gazans give direct feedback on their urgent aid needs.
The UK’s International Development Secretary Justine Greening said, of the total GBP 3m in rapid response funds to be released this week, “this extra support will enable trusted partners who are already working with communities on the ground in Gaza to be able to meet emergency medical needs, provide clean water for people and reduce the risk of disease.”
Internews Europe’s Chief Executive Daniel Bruce added: “Through careful and close coordination with the UN and all other major humanitarian agencies, we will ensure that the most vulnerable people in Gaza receive life-saving information on access to food, water, shelter and medical supplies. Our work will also allow the population to provide feedback to aid agencies on their on-going needs and the effectiveness of the response.”
Souktel CEO Jacob Korenblum affirmed that “Souktel will draw on close to a decade of emergency response work in Gaza to support this initiative—and to ensure that families get rapid access to aid through easy-to-use technology”.
By partnering with Souktel and nine media partners located in Gaza and the West Bank, Internews is immediately able to reach close to 95% of Gaza’s population via mobile and radio—underscoring the power of basic, accessible technology to support emergency response at scale.
The project is being funded through the Department for International Development’s Rapid Response Facility, of which Internews Europe is a member. The RRF is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people.