Boutros is a refugee: he left Syria three years ago after his village was attacked. He paid over USD 5,000 to smugglers and it took him more than two years to get to Europe. The most precious thing he carried with him was his smartphone.
Along an arc of instability that now ranges from the Himalayas via the Middle East to West Africa, Migrants and refugees like Boutros are voting with their feet and fleeing. If there is a common thread that connects those affected by the many intractable, complex emergencies that beset the world today it is mobile technology – whether ‘dumb’ feature phones or new generation smartphones.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, there were more than 7 billion mobile cellular subscriptions by the end of 2015, a significant increase from 738 million in 2000. Moreover, the global proportion of the population covered by a 2G…
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