ITU supports WHO and UNHCR in Mali
Emergency telecommunications provided to UN humanitarian agencies
Geneva, 14 March 2013 – ITU has provided satellite terminals
for both voice and high-speed data to the World Health Organization (WHO) and
the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support their
humanitarian work in the Mali crisis.
ITU has supplied 30 Thuraya satellite phones to WHO to facilitate health
relief efforts in northern Mali.
“At a time when Mali is recovering from conflict, relief effort by UN
humanitarian agencies is much needed to assist people in the affected towns and
villages,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said. “ITU is working with
WHO and UNHCR to provide requisite support with emergency telecommunication
equipment, which is critical in coordinating operations to help the people
affected by the crisis.”
Dr Richard Brennan, WHO Director of Emergency Risk Management and
Humanitarian Response, said, “The deployment of satellite communication
equipment will help fill a major resource gap in the health sector’s response to
the Mali crisis.” He also stated that “during a humanitarian crisis, WHO
operations require a range of logistical equipment, including communications for
health information management and to comply with field security measures”.
“We take humanitarian work very seriously,” said Brahima Sanou, Director of
ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau. “In dire situations such as the one
in Mali, ITU is ever ready to support UN agencies in their humanitarian effort
to assist people and communities caught up in conflict, especially those who
have been afflicted by illness and those who have been displaced from their
ITU regularly deploys emergency telecommunications across the globe in
response to earthquakes, cyclones, floods, and other natural disasters.
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