About the Author: Rick Snelsire serves as Spokesperson at U.S. Embassy Islamabad.
During an interview on Pakistan Radio on August 25, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah invited people to share the latest information and updates on Pakistan flood recovery efforts by SMS texting the word "FLOODS" to 7111.
“We are pleased that Pakistan has a forum for information sharing that people everywhere can use to engage each other in the flood relief effort,” said Dr. Shah. “Information sharing can help connect people to resources to aid in disaster recovery and to engage one another in problem-solving.”
People in Pakistan are using the country's active Humari Awaz ("Our Voice") cell phone network to update each other about the latest flood news, valuable NGO grant and business opportunities, and to make new announcements of support by SMS texting the word "FLOODS" to 7111.
The Humari Awazsocial network was launched by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at Government College Lahore during her visit to Pakistan in October 2009. Since its launch, network participants collectively have sent over 350 million messages.
The "FLOODS" Group is available on all of Pakistan's 90 million mobile phone networks and allows users to join in discussion via SMS subscription to send real-time messages to all group partners.
To learn how to use Humari Awaz, mobile users need only SMS the words "HELP" or "MADAD" to 7111.