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BT Launches Global Disaster Relief Program in Partnership With the British Red Cross

Submitted by: British Telecommunications Plc.

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions, Socially Responsible Investing

Posted: Jun 26, 2007 – 09:00 AM EST


Investing $600,000 in essential IT and communications technology needed to deliver proactive disaster relief worldwide

Jun. 26 /CSRwire/ - LONDON -June 26, 2007 - BT today announced a three-year partnership with the British Red Cross in support of disaster relief worldwide. BT, the first global communications company ever to partner with the British Red Cross in this capacity, will provide support through a three-year program, providing $200,000 each year. This partnership will directly benefit communities across the globe that have been impacted by natural disasters, human conflict and other social, political and economic factors, through proactive disaster relief.

The funding will go towards essential emergency satellite telephones, IT equipment and GPS systems for relief vehicles, across the world. BT's support will help to increase the speed and rate of deployment of the Red Cross' Emergency Response Units (ERUs). This is becoming increasingly essential as the number of global disasters, and the demand for swifter access to information, increases.

With the help of BT, ERUs can be in the field within 24/48 hours, and set up communications within an hour in the initial stages of an emergency. BT will also donate the skills and expertise of its employees, through specific volunteering activities with the Red Cross IT and Telecommunications emergency roster, and will fund their training program.

In 2006 alone, the British Red Cross responded to 16 worldwide disasters, including the Java earthquake; food security crises in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia; floods in Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia Montenegro; mudslides in the Philippines and the Middle East crisis.

François Barrault, CEO, BT Global Services, said: "The problem with disaster relief is that it is often reactive and funds are raised following a disaster. This is where BT can really make a difference. By being proactive and funding a three-year program, BT and the British Red Cross can ensure that the relevant equipment and skills are ready so that relief can be deployed anywhere in the world as quickly as possible."

Sir Nicholas Young, Chief Executive of the British Red Cross said: "Our aim is to extend our capacity to help those in disaster struck areas, whether we are responding to natural or other humanitarian disasters. This partnership with BT will enable us to increase the speed and reach of our emergency response units in the field, making us better equipped to support the most vulnerable people in crisis across the globe."

BT has a presence across 170 countries and disaster relief is an important element of its community investment strategy. This partnership builds on BT's existing CSR activities and current disaster relief support through the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) and is a natural extension of BT's own Emergency Response and Civil Resilience Team, which has donated emergency satellite telephone equipment and expert installation teams to disaster zones such as the earthquake in Pakistan and the tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the past. The partnership brings the opportunity to share learning and technical expertise going forward to deliver a more effective response to disasters.

About BT

BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc's revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

For more information, visit

Winner of the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence 2006: BT won the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence in 2006 for its support during the DEC's Tsunami appeal. On the morning of the Appeal launch (30 December 2005), thousands of people logged onto the DEC website to donate. The site collapsed and BT stepped in following an urgent DEC request. Within 4.5 hours, BT had delivered an alternative robust solution, negating the potential loss of millions of pounds and tens of thousands of donors.

About Red Cross

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.

For more information, please contact:

Phone: 703 755 6215
Phone 2: 702 633 3143
Phone: 908 410 1419


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