UNICC Supports UNHCR Regional Call Centre for Ukrainian Refugees

13 April, 2023

Photo: UNHCR

Refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine can now access UNHCR’s protection and support services cost-free through the new Regional Contact Centre

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), with the support of UNICC, has partnered with industry experts ServiceNow, British Telecom (BT) and Thirdera to set up a regional contact centre (RCC) for refugees fleeing the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Since the onset of the full-scale war in Ukraine, UNHCR has been working on innovative solutions to ensure that those forced to flee have access to the information they need as part of our accountability to affected populations. Partnering with UNICC and the private sector has allowed us to launch this Regional Contact Centre, the first of its kind, enabling us to communicate with the people we serve, providing them with information, and referring those with vulnerabilities to the services they need.

Mohammed Ghafour, Community-based Protection Officer, UNHCR

UNHCR, with its mission to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, reports that there were more than 8 million Ukrainian refugees recorded across Europe by the end of February 2023.  UNHCR works to ensure that refugees can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, and to return home voluntarily when they choose and when it is safe to do so.

UNICC, the strategic partner for innovative digital solutions across the UN system, stands by UNHCR to support the millions of refugees they serve worldwide. We are proud to collaborate with ServiceNow, BT and Thirdera to rapidly deploy and maintain an innovative platform that is being used to provide support to those affected by the war in Ukraine.

Sameer Chauhan, Director, UNICC

Bringing together the best of Service Now, BT, Thirdera and UNICC’s digital expertise and solutions, the new UNHCR RCC solution offers refugees a user friendly, multilingual platform to access vital information on emergency services, assistance and psychosocial counselling services as well as identifying vulnerable refugees and referring them to specialists for follow up support. The RCC also provides information on education, employment, healthcare, housing and legal support.

At Thirdera, our goal is always to use transformation to improve the lives of the many and this initiative is a perfect example of how we can provide that value. We believe that our strength and depth on the platform and the Customer Service Management solution, will make for a fast implementation allowing Ukrainian refugees to get access to the necessary support that they need in these difficult times.

Rian Butcher, Senior Managing Director, EMEA, Thirdera

The RCC platform offers a cost-effective, accountable, cloud-based solution for UNHCR’s efforts in the field. It is built around a solution integrated with case management from Thirdera, using ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management (CSM) application, to build and keep interaction records with callers, and identify & refer vulnerabilities to UNHCR and its partners for follow up and response.

When an emergency situation arose in Ukraine and a refugee crisis developed, ServiceNow wanted to help in any way that we could. Technology should be used as a power for good, and ServiceNow is working closely with UNCHR, BT, UNICC and Thirdera to lay the foundations for a more efficient way of sharing and managing information, to support refugees impacted by the crisis. Connectivity and communication offered through this solution is key in supporting those in critical need.

Nick Tzitzon, Chief Strategy and Corporate Affairs Officer at ServiceNow

The service, which is a cost-free phone calling system, is now available in Hungary and Poland and can be scaled up to other countries in the region, depending on needs. The RCC is operated by teams based in Poland and Hungary, who speak both Ukrainian and Russian.

I’m incredibly proud of the Contact Centre team in Hungary taking calls from refugees and opening up this life-changing service to them. Our purpose is to connect for good. That means stepping up with like-minded partners, like ServiceNow and Thirdera, and making a difference.

Colin Bannon, Customer Technology, Solutions & Strategic Alliances Director, Global, BT

With a global blueprint in mind, this RCC solution is designed to be used in other situations and to be rapidly deployed to support UNHCR and partner UN organizations dealing with emergencies elsewhere around the world.