Messaging Apps: an Untapped Humanitarian Resource

It’s estimated that more than 2.5 billion people around the world use messaging apps. That figure is expected to rise to 3.6 billion – half the world’s population - by 2018. Because of the widespread use of messaging apps, they have the potential to play a vital role in humanitarian work in the future.

Today, the ICRC released a report titled “Humanitarian Futures for Messaging Apps” which provides research on the strategic use of messaging apps in humanitarian operations. People affected by crisis or conflict are increasingly reliant on messaging apps for communication with families and loved ones and for accessing information. Thus, humanitarian organizations are seeking to use these tools to communicate with those affected and to coordinate tasks and actions internally.

Messaging apps help humanitarian organizations gather information to better understand needs from hard-to-reach areas where it is often difficult to conduct face-to-face meetings.
— ICRC's director of communication and information management Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet.

Download the full report here.