The world is continuously facing different types of hazards, from extreme weather events, to tsunamis, earthquakes, vast pandemics, and other geological and human made related hazards, that pose continued challenges to countries and communities. There is mounting evidence about the link between human-induced climate change and extreme weather events, and clear humanitarian implications, with about half the world’s population highly exposed to worsening climate impacts. The impact is even worse for those living in remote and isolated areas with no access to basic information and communication facilities.
Emergency telecommunications play a critical role in disaster risk reduction and management. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are key to monitor the environment, analyze the information to deliver early warnings and alerts, and in the immediate aftermath of disasters by ensuring timely flow of vital information.
ITU plays an important role in emphasizing the critical role of ICTs in disaster risk reduction and management, and supports its Member States, in the four phases of disaster management through the design of national emergency telecommunications plans, the setting up of early warning and monitoring systems and the provision of emergency telecommunications equipment when disasters strike.
As part of its work on emergency telecommunications and disaster relief, ITU's Strategic Plan includes
Target 3.5: "By 2023 all countries should have a National Emergency Telecommunication Plan as part of their national and local disaster risk reduction strategies".
Moreover, ITU develops Resolutions, Technical Standards and Recommendations to assist Member States in the use of telecommunication services and systems for disaster risk reduction, disaster management and humanitarian response.