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Crisis response

Cisco has a proud legacy of being a leader in the private sector in responding to humanitarian challenges.

Originally established in 2003 as Tactical Operations (TacOps), our Cisco Crisis Response (CCR) program provides on-the-ground connectivity, collaboration, and security solutions to connect and empower underserved communities around the world. CCR works with governments, disaster and humanitarian relief organizations, and populations affected by crisis–including homelessness, mass displacement, food and water insecurity, and natural disasters.

CCR also provides cash and product grants. For example, we provided more than US$50 million in cash grants to nonprofits to help those most disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, including first responders, refugees, people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and those facing food insecurity. We also work closely with organizations like Mercy Corps and Destination: Home through multiyear, multimillion-dollar partnerships.

The CCR team draws upon its collective assets and resources to provide greater value to our partners working in emergency and humanitarian response. The team’s focus is expanding from disaster preparedness and response to include resilience-building and longer-term recovery. As CCR doubles down on capacity-building and strategic partnerships, we expect to be able to respond to more crises and maximize impact.

CCR helps through:

  • Incident response—Deployment of personnel to install emergency networking and communications gear, disaster grants, and employee-matching gift campaigns
  • Capacity building—Solution consulting for our customers and nonprofit partners, social impact investments of cash and product, training, and the expertise of our 600 Cisco employee volunteers
  • Technology solutions—Providing a suite of integrated Cisco solutions for emergency response
  • Strategic partnerships—Collaborations and joint deployments with select NGOs, governmental, and emergency response agencies

The crisis response portfolio provides cash and product grants to organizations responding to humanitarian crises (including homelessness, mass displacement, and food and water insecurity) and natural disasters. We have formed long-term partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations at the forefront of these crises, including a multiyear initiative to help use technology for humanitarian impact and climate adaptation, and another six-year commitment that develops and funds innovative strategies to help reduce and prevent homelessness in Santa Clara County, California. In 2022, CCR launched a US$15 million partnership with NetHope, which focuses on evolving emergency preparedness and connectivity-as-aid for people affected by crisis, building cybersecurity and digital protection capabilities across the humanitarian sector, and seeding innovative digital solutions in vulnerable and climate-affected communities in the over 190 countries where NetHope-member NGOs operate.

CCR also has a team of technical engineers, operations and logistics coordinators, and solutions architects dedicated to building and maintaining networks to support mission-critical humanitarian relief efforts. The group is supported by 600 employee volunteers, known as the CCR Community. Cisco, first through TacOps and now through CCR, has responded to over 80 incidents in 36 countries since 2005.