Ukraine State Emergency Services (SES) today (March 1st) launched a WhatsApp information helpline that will connect users to critical updates, reliable and trustworthy information and other vital services.
The free service has been built for SES on the WhatsApp for Business Platform by Turn.io, and uses chat to reach people in Ukraine quickly, reliably and securely - where and when they need it most.
At this time of critical need, users connect to the new SES helpline by simply saving the number +380676785917 in their phone contacts and then texting the word почати (begin) in a WhatsApp message (or scan the QR code). Once the chat is initiated, the user can then choose from a set of menu options to access relevant guidance from SES, including key updates from the organisation, latest news, information and instructions on safety, shelter guidance and links to official information sources.
Partnering with WhatsApp and SES to launch the helpline in a matter of days again confirms the crucial role of chat in crisis situations. In 2021, the international humanitarian organisation CARE was able to set up a vital support line for its team on the ground in Afghanistan in less than five days, through a partnership between CARE, WhatsApp and Turn.io.
Social impact organisations working in Ukraine wishing to use chat to reach their communities can contact Turn.io for immediate assistance.