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An SMS for flood victims in Pakistan


Fornebu, On Wednesday Telenor launched the opportunity for charity donations via SMS in Norway. The Norwegian Red Cross is the first organisation to start using this new donation tool, in the work to help flood victims in Pakistan.

The mobile telephone has become a natural and integrated part of our everyday lives, and today Telenor is providing an opportunity for customers to donate gifts to charitable organisations by sending a text message (SMS).

“Both voluntary organisations and the authorities have wanted the opportunity to collect money via SMS as a supplement to the donor telephone service, which is already established in the market. We have looked into different ways to set up a safe and efficient solution and are proud to be launching this service today, with the Norwegian Red Cross as the first organisation to start using it,” says Ragnar Kårhus, Managing Director of Telenor Norway.

“The situation in Pakistan is very serious. Hopefully the collections via SMS will be a helpful tool in the rescue and emergency work in progress. The need for help is huge,” says Kårhus.

Telenor encourages all their employees in Norway who have a paid mobile subscription to test the new collection method by donating NOK 100 to the Red Cross, paid for by Telenor.

“This internal collection initiative in Norway is one part of the total international assistance Telenor provides, where many Telenor companies have contributed. In Norway, Telenor has supported the Red Cross for several years, and we hope that this new SMS solution will be central in facilitating their collection work,” says Kårhus.

On Wednesday morning, President and CEO of Telenor, Jon Fredrik Baksaas, had a meeting with Erik Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development and Børge Brende, General Secretary of the Red Cross in Norway where the solution with collections via SMS was first published.

“More than 20 million people are hard-hit by the flood in Pakistan. More than 8 million people need emergency assistance every day,” Brende explains.

The Red Cross is now sending eight people to assist, along with one mobile health clinic to the flood disaster area. The clinic has the capacity to help 20,000 patients.

“We need all the help we can get in support for the health clinic, and we are proud to be the first Norwegian organisation to start using SMS for collection work,” says Brende. He also expressed many thanks to Telenor for getting the solution up and running, and also for encouraging its employees to contribute to the donation work.


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