Connectivity and communications are the two critical pillars for any active response to humanitarian emergencies. In recent years, communication technology has grown manifold, from simple wired to heavy Telex/Telegram messages to wireless connectivity and internet-friendly equipment. Many organizations have adopted information and communication technology benefits, and it is doing wonders in their field.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced all sections of society to stay connected and work online. Most governments, administration, humanitarian workers, and health workers create methods for seamless internet connectivity and introduce simple but productive online support in public/community services, humanitarian aid, or health/telemedicine support.

The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) Secretary’s General, R K Jain, believes in making IRCS a paperless and digital-friendly organization. Several humanitarian organizations, including the ICRC, use humanitarian ICT as a support mechanism for aid such as food, shelter, and water and sanitation services. Relatively simple networks can make Red Cross workers/volunteers stay inter-connected and deliver assistance more efficiently.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in New Delhi has begun supporting the Indian Red Cross Society with Digital/IT Equipment. The objective is to connect the headquarters with the dozens of Red Cross branches across the country for more speedy work when COVID-19 pandemic or floods, a cyclone of any other natural disasters.

Since the unexpected arrival of the pandemic, ICRC is supporting the IRCS and its branches to provide equipment with new technological solutions. Part of the ICT assets was handed over to IRCS by the ICRC New Delhi during a function at the IRCS headquarters.

After the success of the first project, the ICRC New Delhi is again supporting/upgrading the ICT network at the IRCS headquarters with digitalized gadgets that work with the WAN & LAN connectivity and Wi-Fi networks.

The ICRC has donated ten computers towards the modernization process. Currently, the ICRC is advising IRCS to procure new cloud-based Payroll and ERP Software, designing an online format of first aid training. Thousands of candidates can participate and train every year.

Amit Dhar further added that the new assets would assist the Red Cross branches: “At first, seven Red Cross offices are being considered to connect with the Headquarters directly. The offices will get directly connected and become paperless in these COVID-19 restrictions to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “