News Release

Cisco to Provide United Nations with Emergency Response Communications Assistance

Cisco will support UN disaster relief efforts with ICT solutions
Sep 10, 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 10, 2012 –Cisco and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently reached an agreement that will allow any United Nations (UN) organization to access Cisco’s networking technology solutions for emergency communications assistance during UN disaster relief missions.

This agreement is the first of its kind for Cisco with the United Nations. Operating under a joint Memorandum of Understanding, the two organizations will be able to better collaborate in terms of crisis preparedness, disaster response and technical coordination. The agreement represents an important milestone that allows both organizations to work together to better respond in disaster situations.

Cisco has similar partnerships with a number of nonprofit organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) where it provides resources and services that enhance each organization’s mission capabilities.

Cisco and OCHA will continue to work towards developing a long-term agreement to expand collaboration for additional disaster response areas.


  • The United Nations’ infrastructure incorporates transportation, security and accommodation during disaster response and requires a formal partnership agreement with each company that provides assistance and support.
  • Cisco, through its Tactical Operations (TacOps) Team, which has a disaster response focus and expertise, has developed specific solutions to provide emergency communications in disaster areas. Cisco TacOps runs various disaster response teams across the world, which are highly trained to deploy emergency communication solutions.
  • Along with emergency disaster response, Cisco is now an official member of the United Nation’s Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET) and will continue to participate in the biannual plenary sessions, which are used to discuss emergency communications standards and disaster preparedness, as well as to develop response and preparation plans for emergency situations.
  • Cisco works with global nonprofit organizations on disaster relief and recovery efforts including the American Red Cross, NetHope, Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps and others.
  • Cisco has provided humanitarian relief in response to a number of crises throughout the world including after earthquakes struck Japan in 2011, and Haiti in 2010, as well as after Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the Southeastern United States in 2005.

Supporting quotes:

John Stewart, Chief Security Officer and Senior Vice President, Cisco Global Government Solutions Group

"Cisco has a long standing, demonstrated commitment to providing assistance during global and national crises.  Our agreement today ensures UN first and second responders have expedited access to the technology and the Cisco expertise they need during urgent situations such as humanitarian crises and natural and other disasters around the world."

Chérif Ghaly, Chief of the Technical Coordination and Partnerships Unit (TCPU), UN OCHA

"Reliable networks, connectivity and interoperability are critical components in any emergency telecommunications infrastructure. Cisco's leadership in this domain brings a lot of value to the humanitarian relief efforts. In addition, over the past 10 years, Cisco has built very solid emergency response expertise capable of deploying very rapidly to almost any disaster affected zone.”

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