Honduras + 1 more

Honduras : 200,000 affected by heavy floods

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TSF deploys to support the UN

Pau, 23 October 2008 - Following heavy floods provoked by several days of torrential rain in Honduras, UNDAC (the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination) requested Télécoms Sans Frontières' (TSF) support. A TSF team will take off today from its Americas base in Managua, Nicaragua, a neighboring country situated South of Honduras.

TSF's role will be to install Emergency Communications Centres for the United Nations and to provide technical assistance to facilitate aid coordination and enable relief organizations to communicate from the remotest affected areas.

At least 24 people have been killed and thousands have been evacuated after several days of heavy rain leading to mudslides and floods. According to the government more than 200,000 have been affected, 25,000 have been left homeless and 8 people are missing. The President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, declared state of emergency in the whole country and requested international assistance.

This mission is supported by the Vodafone Group Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, Inmarsat, Eutelsat, Vizada, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, PCCW Global and the Regional Council of Aquitaine.

TSF supports IRC in the Central African Republic

Also, TSF sent a team to the Central African Republic (CAR) to support the work of the NGO International Rescue Committee (IRC). Télécoms Sans Frontières will install HF radio links to connect IRC's offices in Bangui to those in Bocaranga and Kaga-Bandoro situated respectively 400 and 250 kilometers from the capital to facilitate coordination of IRC's operations. TSF will also equip IRC's vehicles with radio systems to ensure staff security and enable communication from the remotest areas of the country.

The IRC has launched a program that will rehabilitate 2,500 houses for people returning to their villages in the Central African Republic (CAR) after nearly two years of displacement.

In 2004, anti-government rebels took up arms in an effort to depose the government. By early 2006, tens of thousands of people from Nana Gribizi had fled their homes after being caught in crossfire between rebel forces and government troops. Some escaped over the border into Chad, while others were forced to live under terrible conditions deep in the bush. After a peace deal was signed last year, displaced people started moving back to their villages.

About Télécoms Sans Frontières

Télécoms Sans Frontières: the leading humanitarian NGO specialised in emergency telecommunications

With its 24-hour monitoring centre and relying on its operational bases in France, Nicaragua and in Thailand, Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) crews of IT and telecoms specialists can intervene anywhere in the world in less than 24 hours after any sudden onset disaster or conflict and in a matter of minutes set up a satellite-based telecoms centre offering broadband Internet, phone and fax lines. These centres enable emergency NGO, the United Nations and local authorities to communicate right at the heart of event. They also facilitate the coordination of aid efforts. In parallel, TSF also runs humanitarian calling operation to offer support and assistance to affected civilians, giving them a link with the outside world from which they would be otherwise completely cut off.

TSF celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. Since its creation in 1998, TSF deployed to over 50 countries and assisted almost 500 relief organisations and millions of victims. In 2006, TSF became a partner of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). TSF is First Responder of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC).

Télécoms Sans Frontières is also a working group member of the United Nations emergency telecoms body (WGET). TSF is a partner of the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO) and a member of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA).