Haiti

EARTHQUAKE IN HAITI - TSF REINFORCES ITS TEAMS

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TSF Headquarters, January 18th, 2009 -

This mission is supported by the European's Commission Humanitarian Aid Department.

Responding to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, which left a widespread damage and thousands of deaths and missing people still trapped in rubble, a second TSF team, deployed from TSF headquarters in Pau, arrived in Port-au-Prince to reinforce the first team in the field since Wednesday.

Flying with a UN rescue aircraft from Santo Domingo, the second team of TSF experts landed at the airport of Port-au-Prince on January 15th, 11:30 am local time. They carried further fixed and mobile satellite telecommunications tools.

At the very beginning of the mission, TSF installed reliable and durable connections for local authorities and emergency responders. TSF's support in emergency telecoms was requested by UNICEF and by the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination teams (UNDAC). The airport gathers a great part of emergency operations, with individual organizations coordinating their efforts in order to respond as soon as possible to immediate needs (search and rescue, medical services and supplies, clean water and sanitation, emergency shelter, food, logistics and telecommunications).

After their arrival, TSF experts immediately installed a satellite connection mostly dedicated to UNDAC teams and to emergency responders.

TSF experts have been setting up multiple broadband access points (internet connections and phone lines) in the coordinating and logistics centres located near the airport. At the same time, TSF teams are providing IT support to the Minustah (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti). This complex, located close to the airport, gathers all United Nations agencies and NGOs as well. Due to the capacity issue there, TSF is planning to open a telecom centre dedicated to NGOs.

Thanks to TSF, Haitian government coordinating offices are also connected to the outside world and can coordinate the emergency responses thanks to fixed and mobile connections. They also aim at opening TSF long-term emergency telecom centres to the benefit of the entire humanitarian community.