Press release: NetHope Announces Support for Global Connect Initiative

Nan Hall, Kristin Kalning, Communications
nan.hall@nethope.org | 206-604-5118
kristin.kalning@nethope.org | 425-281-6665
Frank Schott, Global Programs
frankschott@nethope.org | 425-765-9890 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2017 – Frank Schott, Vice President of Global Programs for NetHope, announced support today for the U.S. Department of State’s Global Connect Initiative during a keynote speech about refugee connectivity at the Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions event in Washington, D.C. The Global Connect Initiative’s mission is to connect the next 1.5 billion people to the Internet by 2020.

“Internet connectivity is a vital component of aid, just as important as food, water, shelter, and health care,” explained Schott. “It’s a gateway to information, resources, and opportunities. Most importantly, access to the Internet can empower the most marginalized populations of the world.” 

“NetHope and its partners have provided Internet connectivity in Dadaab camp in Northern Kenya, as well as along the Syrian refugee migration route in Europe,” said Schott. “But it’s critical that we solve the larger problem of providing affordable Internet connectivity to refugees everywhere. This is why we should all rally behind and support the Global Connect Initiative, which is targeting disconnected communities all over the world.”

Schott touted efforts by NetHope technology partners Cisco, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, as well as USAID and The Patterson Foundation, which have invested in providing connectivity to refugees over the years. Schott also applauded UNHCR for raising awareness about the importance of refugee connectivity. He encouraged other nonprofits, technology companies, and funding entities to collaborate with the Global Connect Initiative and its mission.

About the Global Connect Initiative

Over 4 billion of the world’s 7.2 billion people do not yet have access to the Internet. More than half of the earth’s population remains without the remarkable benefits that the Internet and related technologies bring to economic and social development. In the least developed countries, only 1 in every 10 individuals has regular access to the Internet, and rates are even worse for women and girls. To address this problem, on September 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of State launched the Global Connect Initiative with the goal of connecting the next 1.5 billion people to the Internet by 2020. The Global Connect Initiative is a multi-stakeholder effort based on the notion that all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society, multilateral development banks, and international organizations, must play their part to expand connectivity. It seeks to mainstream the idea that connectivity is as critical to economic development as other forms of infrastructure, like roads, ports, and electricity.

About the Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions Event

The Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions event is being held in Washington D.C. on April 24-25, 2017 at the Park Hyatt Washington. The event is hosted by IEEE, in collaboration with Guifi.net, Internet Society, ITU, 1 World Connected, Partnership for Public Access, People Centered Internet, USAID, World Bank, and World Economic Forum.

About NetHope

NetHope empowers committed organizations to improve the world through the power of technology. NetHope, a consortium of 50-plus global nonprofits, unites with technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges. Together, the NetHope community strives to transform the world, building a platform of hope for those who receive aid and those who deliver it.

NetHope Members

Accion, ActionAid, Americares, Ashoka, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, ChildFund International, Children International, Christian Aid, Compassion International, Concern Worldwide, DanChurchAid, Danish Refugee Council, Direct Relief, FHI360, Global Communities, Grameen Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, HIAS, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Ipas, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Management Sciences for Health, Medair, Medical Teams International, Mercy Corps, Mercy Ships, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam, Pact, PATH, Plan International, Pro Mujer, Relief International, Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, SOS Children’s Villages International, The Nature Conservancy, Trocaire, VSO, WaterAid, Welthungerhilfe, Wildlife Conservation Society, Winrock International, Women for Women International, World Vision, WWF International