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The Importance of Mobile for Refugees: A Landscape of New Services and Approaches

By:
GSMA  
Posted on:
February 22, 2020

The political and media focus on the refugee crisis in Europe has demonstrated how mobile technology has proved to be a lifeline for refugees to navigate their journeys and resettle in new European countries. However, the fact remains that all of the world’s top ten refugee hosting countries are outside of Europe. MNOs and humanitarian agencies have been delivering mobile connectivity and creating innovative services for refugees in a variety of rural and urban contexts in Africa, Asia and the Middle East for many years. There are wide-ranging lessons that can be shared across sectors and regions on the challenges and opportunities of providing mobile connectivity and services to this segment of the population which will be explored in this report.

Current research and activities on refugees use of mobile technology focus largely on the following themes:

  • connectivity
  • digital tools and platforms
  • family reconnection
  • education, and
  • livelihoods and mobile money.

This report provides a summary of each of these themes.

Summary

There are wide-ranging lessons that can be shared across sectors and regions on the challenges and opportunities of providing mobile connectivity and services to this segment of the population which will be explored in this report.
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