Dial 1294: UNDP and People in Need expand disaster early warning phone service in Cambodia
Named after the government-supported mobile short code ‘1294’, EWS1294 is a free mobile phone service developed by NGO People in Need in Cambodia following severe flooding in 2013. The service is a practical means for Cambodians to receive early warning messages. According to a 2016 study, more than 96% of Cambodians report owning a phone, and more than 99% are reachable through some sort of phone.
With UNDP's support under the project 'Strengthening Climate Information and Early Warning Systems to Support Climate-Resilient Development in Cambodia', the service was extended in 2019 to Koh Kong and Sihanoukville Provinces, linking with data from recently installed automatic weather and hydrological stations. Members of the public register by simply dialing 1294 and entering their location. In the event of an emergency, such as a flood or storm, users in the affected area receive an audio message from the National Committee for Disaster Management, warning them of the risks and steps to take to protect themselves, whether it be evacuation to the nearest safe site, staying indoors or securing their livestock.