With support from incredible NetHope partners The Patterson Foundation and Amazon Web Services (AWS), NetHope will support hurricane relief efforts in Nicaragua, working with local IT companies to install and maintain secure WIFI network equipment and bandwidth.
Connectivity infrastructure in parts of Central America was decimated by Hurricanes Eta and Iota, which struck the region in November 2020. In December, NetHope deployed a technical expert to Nicaragua, one of the countries worst affected, to assess the situation -- consulting with NetHope Member organizations, mobile network operators and others on the ground. As expected, we found that there is a huge need for ICT support following these disasters.
"Having access to connectivity within the affected areas will enable local aid agencies and NetHope Members to share trusted information and coordinate quicker relief aid efforts urgently needed to reach vulnerable people," says Ingo Haraldsson, NetHope's Emergency Response Specialist who was deployed to Nicaragua in December to assess the needs.
The connectivity networks we are installing will enable responding NetHope Members and other relief agencies communicate and coordinate within their own organizations as well as with each other and the government, ensuring that the right aid is delivered where it is needed most. The networks will also provide connectivity for the affected population, enabling them to access vital information and contact loved ones.
"The destruction of hurricanes Eta and Iota have left people more vulnerable within an already insecure environment," says a responding NetHope Member in Nicaragua. "With the help of NetHope and its partners' contributions, not only can we leverage our response coordination on the ground, but we can also use this as an opportunity to capture evidence to show our government that having access to connectivity allows us to better assess needs and build programs to make us more resilient and better prepared in the wake of an emergency, strengthening local capacity."
In order to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the network, after six months NetHope will donate all installed equipment to NGOs working on the sites, who will continue to run the networks.
NetHope programs bring internet connectivity to people who have been hit hardest by disasters. We work with partners and our Member organizations on the ground to provide WiFi, so that vulnerable people can contact loved ones and access essential information about medicines, food and water. We also provide internet access points for nonprofits to enable them to deliver their lifesaving aid quicker and more efficiently.
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