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Mobile phones help bring aid to remotest regions

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AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam

(Read caption) Nurse Serat Amin takes a call on his cell phone at the International Rescue Committee clinic in the town of Dadaab, Kenya, the world's largest refugee camp. He treats the stream of starving children coming into Kenya from famine-struck Somalia. He has lived here for four years, and although he still remembers with pain the children that have died, watching the weak get stronger gives him the courage to carry on.

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In her recent address before the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to alleviate starvation in the Horn of Africa and build a more secure food supply for the future. Governmental organizations and NGOs are not the only ones supplying innovations and assistance – Secretary Clinton also noted several partnerships with private companies.

One of the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partners is Souktel, a mobile phone service based in the Middle East.

Information and communication lines are valuable commodities in a world that is growing more connected every year. The founders recognized the potential for burgeoning mobile phone networks, and began their JobMatch service in 2006. Souktel creates databases, message surveys, and instant alerts that can be sent out and received via mobile phone. The platform tries to better connect job seekers with employers through basic Short Message Service (SMS) texting.

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