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Zain alliance to offer free wi-fi to refugees in Jordan

NEW YORK, September 19, 2016

Zain Group, a top mobile operator in the region, has partnered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Facebook to provide free, open and high-speed wi-fi Internet to refugees in Jordan for five years.

The announcement was made at the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development meeting in New York held on September 18.

 This life-empowering service is being provided to refugees and surrounding local communities in key areas identified by the UNHCR, and forms part of its Connectivity for Refugees initiative.

More than 724,000 refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Jordan, originating mainly from neighbouring Iraq and Syria, two countries facing ongoing internal unrest that has resulted in the massive displacement of large populations.

The connectivity project backed by Zain Group, UNHCR and Facebook will offer unlimited, 24/7 outdoor and indoor Wi-Fi access points through Zain Jordan’s high-speed 4G mobile network, initially in four primary locations across the Kingdom, namely the Princess Basma Center in Sahab in greater Amman; the Al Khaledeya Center in Mafraq; the Princess Basma Center in Tafileh and the Princess Basma Center in Karak.

Scott Gegenheimer, Zain Group CEO and a broadband commissioner said: “As a regional telecommunications provider that has a history of operating in and helping communities in conflict zones, we are well aware of the transformational power connectivity plays in improving the quality of life of people.

“In addition to staying in touch with loved ones, this initiative will enable refugees in Jordan to stay informed with news concerning their circumstances as well as empowering them to utilize the power of the internet to enhance their economic livelihoods, bringing some peace of mind and dignity to their dire situation.”

Alan Vernon, lead for UNHCR’s Connectivity for Refugees Programme, said: “UNHCR is very pleased to partner and with Facebook and Zain to bring internet access to refugees in Jordan. Not only does internet access directly improve the well-being of refugees, but it also enables UNHCR and its partners to communicate more effectively with refugees and deliver improved support to their communities.”

Kevin Martin, Facebook’s vice president of Mobile and Global Access Policy, and a broadband commissioner said: “Everyone in the world – including the millions of refugees who have been displaced from their homes - deserve access to the opportunities of the internet. Our hope is that by collaborating with the UNHCR and Zain Group, refugee communities in Jordan will now be able to connect with their families and friends, share information, and become part of the global digital community.”

This multi-stakeholder collaboration addresses several of the 17 ambitious Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted one year ago by 193 world leaders at the United Nations’ meeting in September 2015 aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring the prosperity for all in the coming 15 years.

This latest partnership touches on several of the SDGs, namely Goal 17, which addresses technology, capacity building and multi-stakeholder partnership targets as well as Goal 4, which seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and the promotion of life-long learning opportunities for all. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Jordan | Wi-Fi | UNHCR | Zain | facebook | refugees |

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