SAS to aid Pakistan flood relief agency
Business analytics leader to help create system for managing disaster response, relief distribution
CARY, NC (Oct. 20, 2010) – SAS is helping the International Organization for Migration (IOM) apply analytics to enhance efforts to help millions left homeless by the worst floods in Pakistan's history..
The floodwaters, likened by the UN Secretary General to "a slow moving tsunami," started in the north of the country in early August, and swept southwards toward the Arabian Sea in a wave of destruction.
IOM provides displaced flood victims with tents, plastic sheets, blankets and household items lost to the floods. It handles incoming flights of aid donations, receives relief items and ensures they clear customs, and works with the government's National Disaster Management Authority alongside more than 40 local and international agencies to distribute aid to people most in need.
To better manage such a large and complex effort, SAS Pakistan and IOM are investigating how SAS' expertise in analytics and data management could help IOM better manage and share data with partner agencies in providing emergency shelter.
"Responding to a large-scale disaster requires more than just the ability to distribute," said Brian Kelly, IOM Head of Emergency and Stabilization Programming. "The humanitarian community needs to understand local markets, evaluate supply chains and digest large amounts of data to make informed decisions. This is what SAS does best, and this is what they are doing for us. SAS' knowledge and technology are helping Pakistan to save lives."
SAS Pakistan is working with IOM, humanitarian and other UN agencies to improve information-sharing across multiple agencies and develop a structured data repository, which can handle such analyses as behavioral trends, forecasting and creating multidimensional views of data.
The innovative public-private partnership between SAS and IOM will explore additional uses of analytics and develop tools to aid in humanitarian disaster response worldwide. These tools could become the foundation of a valuable and freely accessible institutional archive of coordinated activities.
"The potential benefit in a SAS and IOM humanitarian collaboration is considerable," said SAS CEO Jim Goodnight. "Our goal is to apply the strength of analytics and advanced data management to increase IOM's capacity to respond to humanitarian crises and alleviate suffering."
IOM has operated in Pakistan for nearly 30 years with wide-ranging services including refugee resettlement, technical cooperation and counter-trafficking efforts. More recently it coordinated international efforts to help the government provide emergency shelter to more than 3.5 million people displaced by the 2005 earthquake in Northwest Frontier Province (now KPK) and Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK.)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all by providing services and advice to governments and migrants, promoting international cooperation on migration issues and providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
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