Building regional emergency telecoms capacity

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SF is pleased to announce the start of a new project, funded by the Internet Society Foundation. This two-year project will build regional responders' capacity to recover emergency telecommunications in the most disaster-prone regions of the world.

Jean-François Cazenave, TSF President, confirms: “We all know that natural disasters are becoming more and more catastrophic, with a considerable impact on already vulnerable communities. We believe it is our duty to make our technical expertise in emergency telecommunications available to the regional disaster response mechanisms. Strengthening their capacity means the possibility to save more lives and further improve the wider humanitarian coordination. For this reason, we welcome this opportunity and we look forward to collaborating with the Internet Society Foundation and all our partners to contribute to assist communities who cannot be left alone.”

In the aftermath of natural disasters, where the need for telecommunications is greatest, telecommunications are often unavailable, disrupted or over-saturated, slowing down the ability to communicate, share information and assist affected communities. Through this project, TSF enhances the capacity of key emergency response players in the Caribbean and South-East Asia to support an even faster and more effective humanitarian action when disasters strike.

TSF will equip the Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) in the Caribbean region with emergency telecommunication kits. In addition to the kits, TSF will also share its expertise on the use, configuration and maintenance of the equipment during training sessions. The latter will enhance emergency responder’s autonomy in the face of natural disasters.

“This partnership is a great opportunity to work with the Internet Society Foundation to strengthen emergency response capacity in the Caribbean and South-East Asia, the two regions most prone to disasters. The kits will be designed based on the technological expertise and field experience acquired during more than 20 years by our emergency teams. And, most importantly we will share as much of our knowledge as possible and how to make the best use of the equipment so that local responders are equipped with all the tools necessary to a faster response” explains Sébastien Latouille, Project Supervisor for South-East Asia. In communities prone to natural disasters, the capacity to provide emergency connectivity from the very first moments is crucial. Therefore, this TSF project is part of a global objective to strengthen the resilience of populations in the face of natural disasters through better preparation and a more tailored response.