UN report reveals the importance of Internet access to refugees

The report ‘Connecting Refugees: How Internet and Mobile Connectivity Can Improve Refugee Well-being and Transform Humanitarian Action’, published by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), revealed that access to a mobile phone and internet is critical to their safety and security and essential for keeping in touch with loved ones. Many refugees believe that a connected device is as vital to them as food, water or shelter. Affordability is often a barrier to connectivity. Refugees living in urban areas tend to have similar access to mobile networks as other urban populations, but in rural areas only one in six refugees have access to connectivity. The report recommends additional investments in three main areas: increasing the availability of mobile networks, improving affordability, and providing access to training, digital content and services. Together, these are the pillars of a new UNHCR Global Strategy for Connectivity for Refugees.