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Ericsson Launches Humanitarian Program for Northern Latin America
Jan 7, 2004
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Ericsson, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (The Federation) have launched the Ericsson Response(TM) humanitarian assistance program to cover the northern region of Latin America.

The project is the second Ericsson Response program launched in the Americas.

The expanded initiative is based on the global agreement signed in September 2002 by Ericsson and The Federation at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

The first agreement in the Americas focused on the Central America and Caribbean region and provided for two Ericsson mobile network containers, which can be deployed to provide an emergency telecommunications network to aid disaster response efforts. The network is to be based in Panama at the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), which is a part of the Federation.

PADRU-The Federation/Panama, the International Red Cross with the Colombian Red Cross, and Ericsson have now signed a letter of intent to extend the Ericsson Response Program to cover the north Latin America region.

"As a part of the agreement, a simulation exercise is being conducted to transport and deploy one of the Ericsson mobile network containers to Colombia. This exercise gives us a lot of hands-on experience in operating the Telecommunications ERU (Emergency Response Units) during disaster situations," Nelson Castano, head of PADRU-The Federation, said in a written statement.

"As a result of the exercise, the Federation-PADRU unit and Ericsson Response will develop valuable procedures that will help us to face real emergency situations in a faster and more efficient way," Mr. Castano continued.

Dag Nielsen, director of Ericsson Response, added, "The launch of Ericsson Response in north Latin America shows our commitment to the region. The simulation exercise in Colombia is a good stage to test the system and prepare our regional Ericsson Response volunteers for emergency operations in Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, and the Caribbean."

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