The role of telecommunications in disaster reduction is critical
in order to improve the timely flow of crucial information needed for
appropriate assistance to be delivered before, during and after the disaster.
For this reason, ITU is vigorously forging partnerships with the private sector
to finance activities related to disaster mitigation with the aim of saving
Emergency telecommunications play a critical role in
the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring
timely flow of vital information that is much needed by
government agencies and other humanitarian actors
involved in rescue operations and providing medical
assistance to the injured.
ITU and its partners deploy satellite terminals and
other emergency telecommunication equipment to
affected countries within the first 24 to 48 hours
in the aftermath of a disaster to help restore vital
Japan bolsters ITU's emergency communications capacity
Financial contribution to aid countries affected by natural disasters
In a statement, the Government of Japan said: "We would like to contribute CHF 158,000 to the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE). Since we greatly benefitted from the IFCE after the Great East Japan Earthquake, we truly understand the importance of IFCE. We hope our contribution will be utilized for Member States that are affected by disasters and need communication measures."
ITU deployed broadband satellite terminals to Japan in the immediate aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the north eastern coast of Japan in March 2011.
"The people of Japan deserve great praise for the way they dealt with the crisis that enveloped their lives following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, and my heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the bereaved and to those who lost their property and their livelihoods," said ITU Secretary General Hamadoun Touré. "I am grateful that the Government of Japan, which is still recovering from such a massive disaster, is contributing generously to our humanitarian activities."
Marking the anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan hosted a Symposium on the use of telecommunications/ICT before and during emergencies. “I was touched by Japan's generosity when they sponsored the participation of many developing countries to an information- sharing Symposium,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “I call upon other partners to emulate Japan’s initiative to support ITU’s emergency communications and to help save lives of millions of people across the globe.”
ITU and Luxembourg to cooperate in telecommunications for disaster
Emergency satellite communications platform bolsters global
and the Government of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg have agreed to cooperate on
strengthening emergency telecommunications and rapid response in the event of
natural disasters. ITU and Luxembourg are members of the Emergency
Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), comprising of UN agencies and other
The Government of Luxembourg has developed a nomadic satellite-based
telecommunication system – ‘emergency.lu’ – aimed at assisting humanitarian
agencies respond to communities affected by natural disasters, conflicts or
protracted crises. This platform will be available as a global public good to
the international humanitarian community as of 1 January 2012, with Luxembourg
funding its development, implementation, operation and maintenance to the tune
of € 17.2 million.
Under the umbrella of the “ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies” (IFCE),
ITU will encourage its 193 Member States to use the ‘emergency.lu’ platform and
facilitate the rapid deployment of emergency telecommunication systems in the
event of a sudden-onset disaster, or a longer-term deployment in chronic or
recurrent humanitarian contexts or as part of a preparedness strategy in
developing countries. ITU will negotiate appropriate regulatory and legal
frameworks with Administrations, particularly Telecommunications Regulatory
Authorities, to assist in the deployment. IFCE is an ITU communications
initiative to assist the humanitarian community in disaster response. IFCE and
emergency.lu will be jointly and individually deployed within two hours of
notification using every possible means, including custom-fitted aircraft,
depending on the nature and magnitude of the disaster.
Collabria contributes to ITU’s ongoing emergency
telecommunication efforts in Haiti
has signed an agreement with ITU to collaborate beginning with the Haiti
disaster through the contribution of the Collabria software, and a contingency
of engineers to work with the ITU team on the ground.
SmartBridges enhances ITU's emergency work
contributed to support ITU’s response efforts in the Hiti emergency by deploying
wifi units to enhace the telecommunication networks after the disaster.
Kyrgyz Telecom helps ITU on the Haiti emergency
the donation of economic funds, KyrgyzTelecom has contributed to enhance the
ITU’s immense response efforts after the disaster that hit Haiti.
FedEx supports ITU response Efforts in Haiti
response to the Haiti earthquake of 12 January 2010, FeDex provided airfreight
support to ITU emergency telecommunications. In previous disasters such as the
Sichuan earthquake in China, FeDex also provided free airfreight services to
ITU. ITU wishes to express profound appreciation for this assistance and looks
forward to continued close cooperation with FedEx in the future.
ITU, Inmarsat and Vizada
sign a deal to boost disaster preparedness and recovery efforts
Geneva, 8 October 2009
ITU, Inmarsat and Vizada SAS have reached an
agreement to improve emergency communications for disaster preparedness and to
coordinate relief activities in the aftermath of a disaster.
Inmarsat and Vizada are donating 70
state-of-the-art, highly-portable satellite devices capable of delivering
voice and broadband data, to the ITU. The equipment will enhance ITU’s capacity
in deploying mobile telecommunications to assist countries in preparing for
disaster and in strengthening response and recovery mechanisms.
ITU and Qualcomm enhance mobile telecommunication
capacity for emergencies
Geneva, 9 July 2009
ITU and Qualcomm
Incorporated have reached an agreement to improve
for disaster preparedness and to coordinate relief activities in the aftermath
of a disaster.
Qualcomm is donating to ITU a Qualcomm
Deployable Base Station (QDBS) with a total estimated value of nearly USD
500,000. The base station will enhance ITU’s capacity in deploying mobile
telecommunications to assist countries in preparing for disaster and in
strengthening response and recovery mechanisms.
Based on 3G CDMA technology, QDBS is a compact, quickly
deployable and easy to operate mobile solution for providing first-responder
This reliable, responsive and complete cellular system can be
forward-deployed to supply vital wireless communications.
are delighted by this alliance with one of our development Sector Members,"
said Mr Sami Al Basheer, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development
Bureau. "QDBS brings with it
the wireless technology that is so essential in bridging the telecommunication
gap when terrestrial networks are knocked out by natural disasters."
Qualcomm provides wireless solutions that are
relevant and critical in responding to disasters. Through its Wireless Reach™
Qualcomm works with organizations such as ITU to bring wireless technology to
those who need it most.
"We are proud to work with ITU and provide a
useful system to enhance their emergency communications programme," said Shawn
A. Covell, Senior Director of International Government Affairs for Qualcomm.
"Wireless Reach is fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with ITU in
order to help make a difference when a disaster strikes."
Saudi Telecom Company boosts ITU's Emergency
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has made a contribution of fifty thousand (50,000)
Swiss Francs to the ITU Emergency Telecommunication Fund. In making this
contribution, STC president Mr. Saud Majeed Al Daweesh stated that, "
Saudi Telecom Company (STC) very much values its relationship with International
Telecommunications Union (ITU). We are quite moved by the humanitarian services
provided by the Emergency Fund of ITU. STC would like to be part of such a noble
cause and it gives me great pleasure to make a contribution of Fifty thousand
(50,000) Swiss francs into the Emergency Fund."
In a letter
thanking the President of STC, the ITU Secretary General Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure
stated that " The 50,000 Swiss francs which you have contributed will go a long way in
supporting the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE), an
initiative that I also recently launched with the aim of making
Information and Communication Technologies play a vital role in mitigating the
impact of disasters particularly during the response phase of disaster
management. The generous contribution by Saudi Telecom Company will touch
humanity across the globe as no region or country is immune to the scrouge of
ITU entered into multiple partnerships during Global Forum on
Iridium is a major provider of global satellite voice and data solutions with
complete coverage of the earth with a constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting
satellites and delivers essential communications services to and from remote
areas where no other form of communication is available. Iridium contributed 66
IRIDIUM 9505A hand-held satellite phones and 20 IRIDIUM solar batteries
(collectively, the Iridium Hand-Sets), with a total value of US$101’400, and
reduction of airtime usage of the phones by 20 per cent of the normal market
rate on the basis that the Iridium Hand-Sets are being used for humanitarian
work. This contribution brings resources to both the Technology Cluster of the
ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE) and the Finance Cluster
(through the contribution in airtime). ITU’s capability to respond to
emergencies through the deployment of telecommunications resources within the
first 24 to 48 hours has been tremendously reinforced.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the ICO Global
Communications (Holdings) Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on
10th December 2007, in Geneva. ICO Global Communications Limited is a next
generation satellite operator combining both satellite and terrestrial
communications capabilities, in order to offer wireless voice, data, video and
Internet services on mobile and portable devices.
Within the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE), the MoU is aimed
at establishing non-exclusive collaborative linkages between the Parties in the
area of emergency telecommunication systems and disaster relief and mitigation.
ICO and ITU will implement joint projects/activities, subject to technical
limitations, and the provision of airtime on ICO’s F2 satellite to the ITU by
ICO or to state and non-state actors through ITU before, during and after
ICO contributed US$25’000 directly into the Finance Cluster of the IFCE, and
free airtime for disaster preparedness and response.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and TerreStar Global, an emerging
mobile network operator that is building and will own Europe’s first 4G
integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial communication network signed a
Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Disaster Preparedness and Response
through Emergency Telecommunications and Geographic Information Systems. The
Parties entered into this MoU on 10 December 2007, in Geneva.
Taking into account that satellite communication is less vulnerable to disasters
and more reliable for humanitarian work and that in the event of disasters,
TerreStar is ready to commit the full resources of its network to help maintain
vital communications; this agreement paves way for future opportunities for
both Parties. This MoU provides a foundation on which the implementation of
joint projects, coordination of disaster relief activities, and coordination of
joint events to promote disaster preparedness by countries can be undertaken.
TerreStar contributed an initial sum of US$20’000 in support of the Finance
Cluster of the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and VIZADA, a recognized
operating agency have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation
Agreement for the promotion of emergency telecommunications in Geneva on 10
The conclusion of this MoU builds on a strong partnership that already exists
between ITU and VIZADA that has facilitated the deployment of satellite based
solutions across the globe in the immediate aftermath of disasters striking. On
this occasion, VIZADA made an in-kind contribution of 7 complete BGAN terminals
and 10 iridium9505A handsets. The contribution boosted the Technology Cluster
of the ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Operational
Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) concluded a Memorandum of
Understanding (MoU in Geneva on 10 December 2007). UNOSAT has already been
involved in a number of joint activities with ITU particularly in providing
satellite imagery for humanitarian work.
Within the scope of the ITU’s Technological Cluster of the Framework for
Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE), this MoU has the objective of establishing
collaborative linkages in the areas of Emergency Telecommunications Systems and
Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The Parties will implement joint
projects/activities based on project documents to be entered into from time to
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the Group on Earth
Observation (GEO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the objective
of coordinating Earth Observations and establishing a global, comprehensive and
sustained System of Earth Observing Systems (GEOSS). The MoU was signed in
Geneva on 10 December 2007 within the scope of the ITU Framework for Cooperation
in Emergencies (IFCE). Under this MoU, Parties will implement joint
projects/activities based on project documents entered into from time to time.
GEO will also support ITU-D in enhancing the use of ICT for disaster management
in developing countries, with particular attention given to the provision of
affordable ICT services to include geospatial information systems and Earth
observations data, and participation in ITU events on emergency
telecommunications. GEO will also coordinate GEO Members and Participating
Organizations in response to requests from ITU for the provision of Earth
Observations products and services pertaining to disaster situations. ITU will
share information with GEO on emergency telecommunications/ICT and Earth
observations in response to needs of both state and non-state actors involved in
humanitarian work before, during and in the aftermath of disasters. ITU will
also participate in GEO organized activities on Earth Observation and other
related activities to highlight the role of telecommunications/ICT in all GEO
Societal Benefit Areas, with a special emphasis on disaster management.
ITU - Telemedicine &
e-Health Training Centre, Holy Family Hospital
10th December 2007, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the
Telemedicine & e-Health Training Center, Holy Family Hospital of Rawalpindi in
Pakistan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Cooperation in Disaster
Preparedness and Response through Telemedicine and e-Health.
The Parties have already successfully collaborated in the area of telemedicine
and emergency telecommunications following the massive earthquake that struck
the Pakistan-India border area in October 2005 during which a total of 25
medical doctors were trained in the use of 55 satellite terminals in delivering
telemedicine services and applications. The Parties intend to implement joint
projects/activities, share information on e-Health, and cooperate on enhancing
access to information related to emergency telecommunications and telemedicine
for disaster preparedness and disaster relief.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the JSC National
Telemedicine Agency, part of the TANA group of Companies, signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to cooperate in Disaster Preparedness and Response through
Telemedicine and e-Health.
The Parties will implement joint projects in telemedicine/e-Health aimed at
saving lives when disasters strike.
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and International Aid and Trade
which brings together the key stakeholders in the humanitarian relief, aid and
development sectors to enhance coordination and partnership between aid agencies
and other stakeholders, signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Geneva on 10th
December 2007. The Parties will undertake studies on disaster management and the
role of emergency telecommunications. Based on projects that are defined from
time to time, the two organizations will co-finance and implement joint
The International Telecommunication
Union (ITU), and the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which is an
international non-governmental organization whose objective it is to protect,
promote and advance Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services, signed a Memorandum
of Understanding in Geneva on 10 December 2007. The Parties have already
cooperated on running training courses for both radio amateurs and
telecommunications regulators. This agreement paves way for more training
courses across the globe. Through this MoU, the Parties will implement joint
projects and activities, share information on emergency telecommunications.
IARU’s contribution goes straight into the Technological Cluster of the ITU
Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the Webforce International
Federation, a non-governmental organization whose objective is to reduce the
costs of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and use of
these technologies for disaster mitigation signed a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) on 10 December 2007 in Geneva.
By concluding this MoU, the Parties seek
to establish collaborative linkages that include organizing joint events and
activities, sharing information, and resource mobilization in the area of
emergency telecommunications and ICT.
ICO, and CBC Turn to Satellite Communications for Global Response to
ICO will provide airtime on its F2 satellite for disaster prevention and
effective response in the aftermath of natural disasters through both
voice communications and other telecommunication applications, including
telemedicine. An hour's airtime will be provided every day for use
through ITU to help countries maintain preparedness, provide
early-warning information, and elicit quick response. In the event of a
disaster, this time will be adjusted according to the demand to
facilitate rescue-and-rehabilitation efforts.
CBC will provide content and manage the entrepreneurial skill
ITU and Télécoms
Sans Frontières form partnership
As part of its ongoing effort to promote international cooperation and
multi-stakeholder partnerships, ITU concluded a Memorandum of
Understanding on 11 April 2007 with
Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF),
a non-governmental organization, to open the door to greater
coordination of efforts in this area.
"Télécoms Sans Frontières is doing excellent work in the field and we
look forward to the potential impact of this collaboration," ITU
Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré said after the signing the
agreement. "TSF has demonstrated how telecommunications can be used to
strengthen emergency response efforts and save lives."
This sentiment was echoed by TSF Founding President, Mr Jean-François
Cazenave. He said, "Télécoms Sans Frontières is very proud to
collaborate with ITU, and we sincerely hope that this will encourage
telecommunication operators to recognize the potential of their products
and services to save lives. We welcome them to join us in this common
ITU and Thuraya
enter partnership for portable satellite terminals
2006, ITU concluded an agreement with Thuraya Satellite
Telecommunications Company (based in the United Arab Emirates), under
which Thuraya will contribute handheld satellite terminals and solar
chargers to power them. The Thuraya terminals will help provide vital
links via satellite to rescue teams, government authorities and
humanitarian agencies for relief and rehabilitation efforts. These
terminals support voice and data applications, as well as remote
navigation services via the global positioning system (GPS). They will
also help victims locate their relatives and seek assistance.
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center to improve emergency telecommunication in
ITU and the
Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), a non-profit
organization seeking to reduce the impact of disasters upon countries
and communities in Asia and Pacific Region, signed a MoU for enhancing
efficiency of Emergency Telecommunication Services for managing hazard
risks. Within ITU’s mandate to assist countries to study, plan and
establish emergency telecommunication systems, ITU and ADPC have agreed
to collaborate in the following areas:
Mainstream disaster risk management practices into the Telecommunication services sector
Incorporate disaster resilience into Rehabilitation and
reconstruction planning of Telecommunication Infrastructure in
aftermath of disasters
Enhance disaster preparedness through back up systems and
planning tools into emergency telecommunication
Rohde & Schwarz Rises to the
Following its financial contribution to the work and publication of the
Handbook on Emergency Telecommunications, Rohde & Schwarz has
contributed 50,000 Euros towards ITU's ongoing work on reconstruction,
rehabilitation and establishment of early warning systems for the
countries affected by the Tsunami. It is partnerships such as these that
can make a difference in the lives of those who are vulnerable to
disasters, especially those in the least developed and small island
Australian Government Boosts ITU's Seed
Money for Emergency Telecommunications
The Government of Australia has made a voluntary contribution of
500,000 Swiss Francs for the preparation of telecommunication
infrastructure rehabilitation plans and general telecommunication plans
for an early warning system for the countries affected by the Tsunami.
This financial contribution will go a long way towards assisting the
affected countries in preparing and dealing with future disasters, and
will give a significant boost to ITU's seed money of US$250'000
allocated for the same purpose following the December 2004 earthquake
and the subsequent Tsunami generated by it.
Working Group on Emergency
ITU is a member of the
Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET), convened by the United Nations Office
for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which seeks to facilitate the use of
telecommunications in the service of humanitarian assistance and to increase the
effectiveness of its participants in relation to regulatory, operational and
technical aspects of telecommunications for disaster relief. WGET not only
encourages measures applying the ITU resolutions and recommendations relative to
telecommunications for disaster relief, but also is an active facilitator of the
promotion and implementation of the Tampere Convention on the Provision of
Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations.
The World Summit on the
The World Summit on the Information Society,
the second global meeting of which was held in Tunis in November 2005,
offered an important window of opportunity to promote awareness and partnerships
for more effective use of ICTs for disaster reduction. We are committed to make
ICTs play a critical role in disaster mitigation. For this to happen,
universal access should be assured. Multi-stakeholder partnerships can
make a big difference.