Millicom today (3 December 2013) announced that international aid organisation Oxfam and Tigo in Guatemala have signed an agreement to continue to distribute aid using mobile money to people in the areas of the country that are the most affected by malnutrition.
Oxfam has chosen Millicom’s Tigo Money operation to use its secure system and the network of authorised agents to deliver funds to aid such communities. Oxfam funds are used to cover basic needs of food and shelter for the most impoverished families.
The agreement extends the cooperation that started in December 2012 when Oxfam distributed funds via Tigo money to families who lost their homes due to the earthquake in San Marcos.
Tigo’s general manager, Luis Fernando Valladares Guillen, said: “At Tigo Money we really appreciate that an organisation such as Oxfam has chosen us as a channel to reach poor families in a fast, safe, and accessible manner thanks to our large network of authorised agents throughout the country. We are certain that through our experience, technology, services, and great enthusiasm to help our fellow Guatemalans we will meet and surpass expectations.”
From the beginning of this alliance through October 2013, Oxfam sent more than 2.25 million Guatemalan quetzals (282,000 USD) through Tigo Money, aiding 1,700 families with funds for food aid in the Territorial Region of Chiquimula, one of the worst affected by drought and child malnutrition in Guatemala.
Iván Aguilar, Oxfam’s programme co-ordinator in Guatemala, commented: “It is always important to explore new technologies and new services that can allow Oxfam’s humanitarian work to have effect. Tigo money offers us the possibility to get our service to communities that are most vulnerable – the communities where we work.”
Through this new system the beneficiaries of Oxfam aid can obtain financial aid in an immediate and safe manner. Additionally, recipients in remote areas gain access to a formal mechanism of money transfer without having to rely on proximity to a traditional bank.
Tigo and Oxfam are now planning a System of Emergency Reaction which will allow them to organise the delivery of aid within 48 hours to people most affected by the natural disasters that frequently devastate the country. Tigo and Oxfam are also finalising details to start an aid project for poor communities in the region of Baja Verapaz.
Hans-Holger Albrecht, the president and chief executive of international telecommunications and media company Millicom, the firm behind the Tigo brand, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to support Oxfam’s vital humanitarian work in Guatemala. In an age where technology is transforming all our lives, it is so important that it serves people who stand to benefit most.”
Millicom, founded in 1990 and headquartered in Luxembourg, is a digital lifestyle company in emerging markets. It has operations in a total of 15 countries offering mobile phone, internet, payTV, ecommerce and financial services to over 45 million customers in countries in Africa and Latin America including Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay.