IBM, Live Love Lebanon Collaborate to Enhance Humanitarian Aid Coordination across Lebanon Through IBM Cloud

Improved donation management solution to enable enhanced coordination of donations and distribution of humanitarian aid in Lebanon and beyond

BEIRUT, Lebanon, February 23, 2021 - IBM today announced its collaboration with Live Love Lebanon, a Lebanese non-government organization (NGO), to help enhance the coordination of donations and distribution of humanitarian aid and restore hope amongst the most vulnerable in Lebanon, amid the ongoing socio-economic challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This initiative comes as part of IBM’s Code4Beirut, a three-pronged initiative focusing on providing support to humanitarian organizations working in Lebanon. As part of the initiative, IBM launched the Call for Code Spot Challenge Beirut in August 2020, where it called on the global developer community to join forces and further develop and improve an open source automated donation management solution. The objective is to help reduce time-consuming, labor-intensive and error-prone manual processes, allow for transparency which will preserve the trust each donor places in the process, and ensure sufficient aid reach those in need.

IBM opened up the code of an existing donation management solution, Al-Wasl.Connect, turning it into an open source platform. This enabled developers from across the world to have access to the solution, be able to enhance it, and propose new features and capabilities using tools on IBM Cloud. Al-Wasl. Connect was developed by a team of IBM volunteers and previously submitted to the IBM Middle East and Africa Innovation Jam, an initiative designed to create new and innovative solutions to tackle the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Over the course of the challenge, Call for Code Spot Challenge Beirut attracted hundreds of global developers to participate. A dedicated IBM Service Corps team will work closely with Live Love Lebanon to incorporate select contributions into Al Wasl.Connect. The enhanced donation management platform will remain open source to ensure that it is replicable for other countries and regions. IBM Service Corps is a social impact program that develops IBM leaders, while contributing IBM talent and technology to local communities and non-profit organizations looking to tackle challenging problems.

Delivered on IBM Cloud, Al-Wasl.Connect will enable Live Love Lebanon to automate important but time-consuming business processes, such as onboarding new partners or dispatching and tracking donations. As a result, Live Love Lebanon will be able to expand their network of supporters and reach more people in a faster and more efficient manner.

“There's an old African proverb that says “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together,”” Said Eddy Bitar, Co-Founder & Executive President of Live Love Lebanon. “We have to go far — quickly. And this means we have to quickly find a way to help the most vulnerable people by creating a smart system that could create instant synergies with more than 115 organizations that are in a race against time to assist our communities. IBM is helping us to build this system and we're very grateful for their support.”

Call for Code Spot Challenge Beirut was a dedicated edition within Call for Code. Call for Code is designed to bring together developers around the world to create applications powered by open source technology to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 nations. Last year, the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge called on the global developer community to address the world's reaction to COVID-19 in addition to climate change. On 13 October 2020, a panel of industry leaders and judges awarded Agrolly the grand prize while announcing four other winners—one that also created a response to climate change, and three others aimed at the global coronavirus pandemic.

“At the core, all developers are problem solvers. And because challenges are experienced differently by different communities, it’s important that we provide them with the technology and tools to wade deeper into the problem and craft solutions that work on the local level and also have the ability to scale and help any community anywhere,” Sabine Holl, VP Technical Sales and CTO, IBM Middle East and Africa. “Call for Code Spot Challenge Beirut was inspired by a trait that IBM has instilled within us over the years: being essential. As a result, we were quickly able to call on IBM volunteers, the developer ecosystem, and different communities to come together and contribute to this initiative with their time, creativity, and skills.”

In addition to Call for Code, IBM applies its technology and expertise in many ways to help organizations prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. That’s the basis of its disaster response efforts —marshaling capabilities throughout IBM more than 80 times since 2001 to help humanitarian organizations and governments be more effective.